November 4, 2018 / 2:14 AM / 10 days ago

Stamkos, slow-starting Lightning overwhelm Habs

EditorsNote: Fixes Price saves in 4th graf

Steven Stamkos scored twice, sandwiching J.T. Miller’s go-ahead goal in the first period to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 victory over the host Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Forward Yanni Gourde, who signed a six-year contract extension on Friday, added Tampa Bay’s fourth goal. Anton Stralman had three assists and Nikita Kucherov had two for Tampa Bay.

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves to earn the win for the Lightning, who lead the Eastern Conference with 19 points.

Montreal goalie Carey Price stopped 32 shots.

Both teams were missing All-Star defensemen because of injuries. The Lightning were without Victor Hedman, who is out until later in November. Montreal was without Shea Weber, who is set to return in mid-December.

Montreal needed just 58 seconds to get on the board as Max Domi beat Vasilevskiy, stick side, with a wrist shot from the slot.

But Tampa Bay recovered from its shaky start and tied the score on Stamkos’ first goal with 13:42 expired in the first period. Price blocked the first two shots in the sequence before Kucherov collected the loose puck and, rather than try to force it through, passed it back for Stamkos’ one-timer.

The Lightning kept their momentum going on Miller’s goal with 16:24 gone in the first period. The chance was created when Stralman deflected a Canadiens pass as Montreal was exiting its zone. Miller, trailing the play, picked up the loose puck in the slot and beat Price, top shelf.

There were no goals in the second period, although Montreal had more shots on goal, 17-7.

Tampa Bay stretched its lead to 3-1 on Stamkos’ second goal, this one with just 52 seconds expired in the third period. Stamkos took a cross-ice pass from Kucherov and then rifled home a wrist shot from the right circle.

Gourde’s goal with 15:57 expired in the third put the game away for Tampa Bay.

—Field Level Media

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