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Koivu leads Canadiens' third-period surge

Dec 15, 2006 - 3:35 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The third period once again proved to be pivotal for the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens scored three third-period goals, including a go-ahead shorthanded tally by Saku Koivu with 6:26 left, en route to a 4-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Cristobal Huet made 41 saves for Montreal, which emerged victorious despite being outshot, 43-20.

"When the shots are 20-43, you figure to win it, but that's life," Tampa Bay center Vincent Lecavalier said. "(Huet's) positioning is great, tough to score on. He deserves a lot of credit."

With the Canadiens trailing, 2-1, after two periods, rookie Maxim Lapierre scored his first career goal 6 1/2 minutes into the third to forge a tie. He deflected a shot by defenseman Mike Komisarek from the right point over goaltender Marc Denis' shoulder and into the top left corner of the net.

"I knew he was behind me, but I think he forgot my blade," Lapierre said. "It was the third time (back to Komisarek) and I knew he was going to shoot, so I just put my stick on the ice and tipped it.

"It's really tough not to smile when you score that (first) goal. I've been waiting for that since I was young and I finally got it. It's going to be a great night with my family tonight."

Playing in his 600th career game, Koivu put Montreal ahead with 6:26 remaining, taking a backhand pass from Alexei Kovalev and putting a quick wrist shot from the left faceoff circle by Denis.

"That's not a bad way to celebrate, get a couple of goals and the win," Koivu said.

After a potential game-tying goal by Eric Perrin was waved off when it was ruled he intentionally directed the puck into the net, Koivu scored an empty-netter with 46 seconds left to seal the win.

"You want to let one less in than the other guy, but I mean, I didn't see the last two goals," Denis said. "To their credit, they sent a lot of traffic (in front of me) in the third period, which they weren't able to do in the first two because we had such sustained forechecking.

"I really felt good about my game, but so did a lot of other guys here. It's just a matter of getting all cylinders going."

This season, Montreal has been outscored by a combined seven goals in the first two periods but owns a 16-goal edge in the third session.

"There's been a few games in the second period where we didn't play that well, and again tonight, we didn't really have a strong effort (in the second), but we were able to regroup after the second and come out strong in the third," Koivu said. "We try and roll out four lines, so maybe we have a little gas left for the third period and are able to push it."

Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis scored for the Lightning, which went just 1-for-6 on the power play.

"A game like tonight, we've got to capitalize at a key time, and we didn't," St. Louis said. "It's a lot of responsibility with the ice time we get. We've got to get her done, and we didn't."

Huet stopped 17 shots in the first period, 14 in the second and all 10 he faced in the third.

"When you play a team like this that has so much talent, I have to make the saves that are important, and then the rest is all teamwork," Huet said.

Defenseman Mark Streit opened the scoring 8:29 into the contest, when he scored a shorthanded tally on Montreal's first shot. Richards netted his 13th of the season on the power play with 6:21 remaining in the first and St. Louis gave the Lightning a 2-1 edge with his 19th 6:38 into the second period.

Tampa Bay has dropped seven of its last eight.

"I'm not picking apart the hockey team tonight, they played too hard," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "It's not always fair, and we know that. We have to keep our mindset and our aggressive mode and try to keep our confidence."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 0 2
    MONTREAL 1 0 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) MARK STREIT 1 (SHELDON SOURAY, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    8:29
    TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 13 (VACLAV PROSPAL, FILIP KUBA)
    13:39
    2ND PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 19 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, NOLAN PRATT)
    18:42
    3RD PRD: MON

    Dec 14 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - (EN) SAKU KOIVU 12 (MARK STREIT, SHELDON SOURAY) 19:14

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 10:10 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: MON - (SH) SAKU KOIVU 11 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, SHELDON SOURAY)
    13:34

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MONTREAL 2
    3RD PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 1 (MIKE KOMISAREK, GARTH MURRAY) 6:38

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2
    MONTREAL 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) MARK STREIT 1 (SHELDON SOURAY, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    8:29
    TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 13 (VACLAV PROSPAL, FILIP KUBA)
    13:39
    2ND PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 19 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, NOLAN PRATT)
    18:42


    Dec 14 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 19 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, NOLAN PRATT)
    18:42

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    MONTREAL 1 19:59 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MONTREAL 2 19:59 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) MARK STREIT 1 (SHELDON SOURAY, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    8:29
    TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 13 (VACLAV PROSPAL, FILIP KUBA)
    13:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 18

    Dec 14 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 13 (VACLAV PROSPAL, FILIP KUBA)
    13:39

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) MARK STREIT 1 (SHELDON SOURAY, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    8:29

    Lightning vs. CanadiensDec 14 7:58 PM