for this game

Three-goal third period helps Canadiens top Lightning

Jan 4, 2008 - 5:10 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Michael Ryder scored two goals, including the final tally to cap a three-goal third period, to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Andrei Kostitsyn and Kyle Chipchura also scored in the final session for Montreal, which earned just its second victory in its last nine games at the Bell Centre.

Tampa Bay, which dropped its sixth game in a row overall, lost for the ninth time in its last 11 contests on the road. Not surprisingly, the Lightning own an NHL-worst 3-14-1 mark away from home.

"It's frustrating. It's not just the six in a row, it started before that," said Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier, who had a goal and an assist. "It's tough, it's tough on everybody. The morale is down after a game like tonight. You come back, you think you're going to win, and you lose."

With the game tied at 3-3 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the third, Kostitsyn gained the blue line. Although Tampa Bay defenseman Filip Kuba fell to the ice, the 22-year-old Russian fired a slap shot that sailed over goaltender Karri Ramo's left shoulder for the game's decisive goal.

Chipchura tallied just over three minutes later, and Ryder benefited from a beautiful cross-crease pass from Christopher Higgins to finish the scoring with 2:38 left in the session.

Alexei Kovalev opened the scoring with 5:44 remaining in the first period.

With Montreal on a 5-on-3 power play, Ryder gained possession of the puck to the left of the net. Ryder skated in and deked Ramo to the ice before sliding a goal-line pass to Kovalev, who tapped it in from the doorstep for his 17th goal of the season.

"We've worked hard on our game and it's paid off," Kovalev said. "A lot of guys get confidence with the puck. I think this team looks different compared to the way we were a month ago."

Higgins doubled the Canadiens' advantage nearly 3 1/2 minutes later.

"I think it's a big relief for everybody that we're starting the right way at home," Higgins said. "There was a lot of talk this morning, and recently, about our record at home, but now we're OK - at least until the next game."

With Montreal once again on the power play, captain Saku Koivu backhanded a pass to Higgins, and the former Yale standout quickly wristed it past Ramo for his 15th goal.

For Koivu, it was his 400th career assist.

Lecavalier halved the deficit just 49 seconds into the second period. The Montreal native accepted a feed from Vaclav Prospal and beat netminder Cristobal Huet on a breakaway for his 27th tally of the season.

Ryder restored the two-goal cushion for the Canadiens by wristing a shot from the left faceoff circle past Ramo at 9:10 for his fifth goal.

"I knew I would get one or two sometime down the road," said Ryder, who ended a 14-game goalless drought on December 28 and has three tallies in as many games. "It was a tough stretch. You keep working and eventually something will go in, and tonight, I got two."

Martin St. Louis drew Tampa Bay within a goal with just under eight minutes remaining in the session. With the Lightning on the power play, Kuba fed Prospal, who quickly deflected the puck to a wide-open St. Louis for his second goal in as many games.

Prospal leveled the game at 3-3 just over two minutes later. After Lecavalier's blast from the slot ricocheted off the end boards, Prospal deposited the puck behind Huet for his 18th tally of the campaign.

"I think we have to try to find some positives as we go through this rough ride here," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "I thought our top players put it right in my face. We challenged them yesterday and I thought they were the best players on the ice. We just have to find some positives and keep getting better."

Playing in his 100th game as a member of the Canadiens, Huet made 30 saves.

Ramo stopped 24 shots for Tampa Bay.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 0 3
    MONTREAL 2 1 3 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 17 (MICHAEL RYDER, MARK STREIT)
    14:16
    MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 15 (SAKU KOIVU, ANDREI MARKOV)
    17:39
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 27 (VACLAV PROSPAL) 0:49
    MON - MICHAEL RYDER 5 (CHRIS H

    Jan 3 10:05 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    MONTREAL 6
    3RD PRD: MON - MICHAEL RYDER 6 (CHRIS HIGGINS) 17:22

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: MON - KYLE CHIPCHURA 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 11:01

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 10 (MIKE KOMISAREK) 7:54

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 9:41 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 3
    MONTREAL 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 17 (MICHAEL RYDER, MARK STREIT)
    14:16
    MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 15 (SAKU KOIVU, ANDREI MARKOV)
    17:39
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 27 (VACLAV PROSPAL) 0:49
    MON - MICHAEL RYD

    Jan 3 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 18 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 14:06

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) MARTIN ST. LOUIS 15 (VACLAV PROSPAL, FILIP KUBA)
    12:04

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - MICHAEL RYDER 5 (CHRIS HIGGINS, MARK STREIT) 9:10

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 8:48 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 27 (VACLAV PROSPAL) 0:49

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    MONTREAL 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 17 (MICHAEL RYDER, MARK STREIT)
    14:16
    MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 15 (SAKU KOIVU, ANDREI MARKOV)
    17:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 9

    Jan 3 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    MONTREAL 2
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 15 (SAKU KOIVU, ANDREI MARKOV) 17:39

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 17 (MICHAEL RYDER, MARK STREIT)
    14:16

    Lightning vs. CanadiensJan 3 8:04 PM