Habs win shootout in Tampa 4-3
David Desharnais and Carey Price earned redemption in a shootout victory to start the Habs' Florida roadtrip with a stressful win.
Price has vowed to be better in shootouts this season---he just didn't expect it to be necessary when he had a 3-0 lead with only 6 minutes left to play in regulation.
But the Habs' star goalie stopped Victor Hedman, Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos in the shootout. That set up the scoring heroics for David Desharnais, who has blown cold for most of the season and had his line with Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole shuffled as a result.
The Montreal Canadiens blew a 3-goal lead, forcing their game against the Lightning to overtime in Tampa. Then they blew a powerplay opportunity to win it before the shootout.
Lightning struck 3 times in less than 6 minutes, including one goal that needed review from the "War Room" in Toronto and a final seconds powerplay goal scored with Tomas Plekanec in the penalty box.
The tying goal trickled over the goal line to Carey Price's left after a fortunate bounce off the skate of Raphael Diaz. Sammy Salo got credit for the goal.
Victor Hedman had scored his first NHL pair to jumpstart the comeback for the Lightning, including a goal that bounced in off his glove but was ruled not to have been directed to deliberately on goal.
PK Subban scored his 3rd goal in 4 games to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead on the Lightning before the midway mark of the 2nd period, after picking up an assist on the only goal of the 1st period in Tampa.
Travis Moen shovelled in his first goal of the season before the end of the 2nd, to widen the lead. Lars Eller picked up his 2nd assist of the game on the goal-mouth scramble. Colby Armstrong earned his first point as a Hab with an assist as well.
The Canadiens were given one too many powerplay opportunities by the Lightning in the opening 20 minutes. Victor Hedman's retaliation penalty for a hit from Erik Cole that could easily have been called interference but was not, set up a 5-on-3 PP situation for the Habs who worked it perfectly.
Brian Gionta scored his 3rd goal of the season easily jamming in a cross-crease perfect pass from Tomas Plekanec who was parked on the right side. He'd taken a feed from the right point by PK Subban.
The Lightning took 5 straight penalties in the period, giving up the lead only after Tampa coach Guy Boucher was hollering at the officials for the non-call on Cole.
Lars Eller also picked up an assist on the Subban goal.
Rookie star Alex Galchenyuk told CJAD on the eve of the game he wanted a win and "wouldn't mind a goal" for his birthday. The 19-year old fired high and wide on an overtime opportunity to win the game. Then he led off the shootout for the Habs flubbing his shot after a shifty move to his forehand.
The Canadiens are trying to halt their season-worst 3-game losing streak, the Lightning a 4-game skid.
Tampa's Victor Hedman shattered Carey Price's shutout bid with 5:56 left to play in the 3rd, after Subban failed to clear the puck or get back into the defensive zone play.