Nick Suzuki scored the lone goal in the shootout & Jake Allen made 37 saves as the visiting Montreal Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Saturday night at Amalie Arena.
The Lightning opened up the scoring when Steven Stamkos scored at 8:57 of the 1st. Nikita Kucherov fired a pass from the left wing that the Captain was able to quickly deflect past Allen to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. That tally was Stamkos' third in three games, it extended his point streak to six games & it was his 32nd goal of the season.
Anthony Cirelli doubled the Lightning lead with a shorthanded goal at 13:32. Nick Paul centered a pass that Cirelli was able to re-direct past Allen to put the Bolts up 2-0. There was a short review after the goal because Cirelli crashed into Allen, but the call on the ice was confirmed and the goal stood.
The Canadiens finally got on the board at 8:57 of the 2nd when Cole Caufield scored on Tampa Bay goalie Brian Elliott on a 2-on-0, but the Lightning answered back just under three minutes later.
After rookie Jordan Harris - who made his NHL debut in this game - was whistled for playing without a helmet, Kucherov fired home a one-timer to give Tampa Bay a two-goal lead once again.
But not for long.
Montreal defenseman Corey Schueneman threw a shot on goal from the point immediately after a faceoff win that found its way past Elliott to cut the Lightning lead to one at the 13:56 mark.
And the Habs weren't done.
After a turnover at the Montreal blue line, Mike Hoffman sprung Josh Anderson for a breakaway and he beat Elliott just under two minutes later to make it 3-3.
It looked like they were heading to the second intermission with a tie game, but Montreal's Ryan Poehling was called for tripping and Tampa Bay made the Canadiens pay.
Brayden Point deflected a centering feed from Ondrej Palat that hit the crossbar and in with just 15.6 seconds left in the period to put the Bolts up 4-3.
To their credit, Montreal came out firing to start the 3rd period, and Jess Ylonen scored at 2:18 to make it 4-4.
The score stayed that way through the rest of regulation and overtime before Suzuki won it for the Canadiens in the shootout.
Elliott was incredible in the first period, including a stellar, sprawling pad save on Montreal's Christian Dvorak. (Video BELOW)
He made 27 saves in defeat.
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Kucherov, Hedman) - 8:57
- Tampa Bay - SHG - Cirelli - (Paul) - 13:32
- Montreal - Caufield - (Pitlick) - 8:57
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Hedman, Stamkos) - 11:34
- Montreal - Schueneman - (Suzuki) - 13:56
- Montreal - Anderson - (Hoffman) - 15:50
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Point - (Palat, Kucherov) - 19:44
- Montreal - Ylonen - (Pitlick, Poehling) - 2:18
- Tampa Bay - Killorn - (Roughing) - 0:27
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Tripping) - 12:23
- Montreal - TEAM - (Delay of Game) - 13:32
- Montreal - Harris - (Playing Without A Helmet) - 10:12
- Montreal - Poehling - (Tripping) - 18:17
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Monday night as they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to Amalie Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show starting at 6:00pm on NewsRadio WFLA & Lightning Power Play on the iHeartRadio app.
PHOTO : Getty Images