January 3, 2020 / 2:56 AM / a month ago

Vasilevskiy stops 38 shots, Lightning edge Habs for fifth straight win

Jan 2, 2020; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi (13) flips up a puck before giving it to a young fan during the warmup period before a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 38 saves to make a pair of first-period goals stand up as the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning skated to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov each scored in the first period for the Lightning, who extended their season-high winning streak to five games. They also have emerged victorious in 13 straight contests against Atlantic Division foes, with that run beginning with a 3-1 win at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Oct. 15.

Defenseman Jeff Petry scored early in the first period and Carey Price made 21 saves, but the Canadiens failed to solve Vasilevskiy again and dropped their fourth in a row.

Tampa Bay opened the scoring just 42 seconds into the contest after defenseman Erik Cernak wristed a shot from the point that Cirelli deflected past Price. Cirelli, who also scored in the Lightning’s 5-4 win over Montreal last Saturday, has three goals in his last four games.

Petry answered over five minutes later after unleashing a shot from the high slot past Vasilevskiy for his sixth goal of the season. Max Domi notched an assist on Petry’s sixth goal of the season to extend his point streak to eight games.

The Lightning regained the lead at 8:28 of the first period after Price misplayed the puck behind his net. The former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient paid for the miscue, as Brayden Point immediately found Kucherov on the doorstep for an easy conversion.

Montreal was busy prior to the game, placing alternate captain Brendan Gallagher on injured reserve with a concussion sustained during the second period of Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Carolina after taking an inadvertent knee to the head from teammate Ben Chiarot.

The Canadiens also acquired Marco Scandella from Buffalo and sent fellow defenseman Mike Reilly to Ottawa in another trade. Montreal secured the services of forward Andrew Sturtz and a fifth-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Senators in exchange for Reilly, while sending a fourth-round pick to the Sabres.

—Field Level Media

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