for this game

Lapierre, Canadiens cruise past Lightning

Dec 28, 2007 - 4:51 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Maxim Lapierre picked a good time to find the net.

Lapierre scored his first goal of the season as the Montreal Canadiens posted a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Guillaume Latendresse, Alexei Kovalev, defenseman Andrei Markov and Andrei Kostitsyn also scored for Montreal, which ended a modest two-game slide on its season-high seven-game road trip.

The Canadiens returned to their winning ways by taking their fourth of five games here. The victory at St. Pete Times Forum gives Montreal a 12-6-2 record away from home, second only to the Ottawa Senators for the best in the Eastern Conference.

"It's a good thing we're playing well on the road, you know?" Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We seem to have trouble at home, which is completely the opposite of last year, but I don't know, I think we feel the pressure when we play at home. On the road we seem to keep it simple."

Tampa Bay, which has lost six of its last seven games, has dropped four of five at home.

"We have a ways to go," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "It's not one particular thing, there's a number of things. At times, from our best players right on through, we had a tough time making five - 10-foot passes. That's the state we're in right now with this hockey club."

Lapierre, who was called up from Hamilton of the American Hockey League on December 5, scored midway through the first period to put the Canadiens in front for good.

The Quebec City native accepted a feed from defenseman Mike Komisarek at center ice to begin a 2-on-1 break.

Skating in, Lapierre blasted a shot that went off the stick of defenseman Filip Kuba and over the blocker of Johan Holmqvist with 9:40 left in the session. It was his first goal since scoring against Buffalo on March 31.

Nearly 2 1/2 minutes later, the Canadiens doubled their advantage.

Latendresse, after attempts by captain Saku Koivu and Sergei Kastsitsyn, slid a rebound past Holmqvist with 7:11 left in the first for his 10th goal of the season.

Things got worse for Holmqvist, who has lost his last four games.

Just 10 seconds into the second period, Kovalev's wrister deflected past the beleaguered netminder to give Montreal a 3-0 bulge.

"I tried to pass it across and it hit the defenseman and went between the goalie's legs," Kovalev said. I've been having some lucky goals lately."

It was Kovalev's team-leading 16th goal and 32nd point of the season.

Holmqvist was quickly pulled in favor of rookie Karri Ramo, who has started the last three games.

"It wasn't that 'Holmer' played poorly, I just wanted to change things a bit," said Tortorella after yanking Holmqvist.

The Canadiens stretched their lead to 5-0 in the final session on goals just 24 seconds apart.

Just after a Montreal power play, Markov, from 62 feet out, fired a bullet past Ramo 44 seconds into third before Kostitsyn scored a backhander from the doorstep off a nice pass from Tomas Plekanec.

"We weren't lazy tonight," Lightning defenseman Josh Gorges said. "Our club was hungry and on the puck. We wanted this game tonight and came in after a tough loss looking to redeem ourselves."

Tortorella re-inserted Holmqvist into the contest after the two quick scores.

"Ramo has been playing very good for us and I didn't want to start him in back-to-back games so early, and Holmer needed the work, so he came back in," Tortorella said.

Holmqvist allowed three goals on 15 attempts while Ramo gave up two of 14.

At the opposite side of the rink, Cristobal Huet stopped six shots in the first, 11 in the second as well as his first five in the third before Vaclav Prospal scored with 13:45 left in the session.

"Huey was great tonight," Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik said. "I think he was our best player and that was the difference. "(Center Vincent Lecavalier and right wing Martin St. Louis) have lots of speed and they're quick but we shut them down."

Huet, who also allowed a tally to Jan Hlavac with 16 seconds left, stopped 28 shots.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 1 2 5
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 1 (MIKE KOMISAREK, ANDREI MARKOV) 10:20
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN) 12:49
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 16 (MIKE KOMISAREK, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    0:10
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI MARKOV

    Dec 27 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: TAM - JAN HLAVAC 5 (UNASSISTED) 19:44

    Canadiens vs. LightningDec 27 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 16 (DOUG JANIK, NICK TARNASKY) 6:15

    Canadiens vs. LightningDec 27 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    TAMPA BAY 0
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 7 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ALEXEI KOVALEV)
    1:08

    Canadiens vs. LightningDec 27 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    TAMPA BAY 0
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI MARKOV 10 (MARK STREIT, SAKU KOIVU) 0:44

    Canadiens vs. LightningDec 27 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 1 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 1 (MIKE KOMISAREK, ANDREI MARKOV) 10:20
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN) 12:49
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 16 (MIKE KOMISAREK, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    0:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 27 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    TAMPA BAY 0
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 16 (MIKE KOMISAREK, TOMAS PLEKANEC) 0:10

    Canadiens vs. LightningDec 27 8:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 2
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 1 (MIKE KOMISAREK, ANDREI MARKOV) 10:20
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN) 12:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 10

    Dec 27 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (SAKU KOIVU, SERGEI KOSTITSYN)
    12:49

    Canadiens vs. LightningDec 27 7:31 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 1 (MIKE KOMISAREK, ANDREI MARKOV) 10:20

    Canadiens vs. LightningDec 27 7:28 PM