Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta, left, is hugged by teammates Yannick Weber, centre, and Michael Ryder following a power-play goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during third period NHL hockey action Thursday, April 18, 2013 in Montreal. The Canadiens beat the Lightning 3-2.
Photograph by: Paul Chiasson, Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL - The skinny: Brian Gionta scored his second goal of the night on a power play with 46.6 seconds remaining in regulation time to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Canadiens. Vinnie Lecavalier scored at 5:07 of the third period to tie the score at 2-2, but Carey Price was solid with 32 saves.
Back on top: The win gave the Canadiens temporary possession of first place in the Northeast Division with a two-point edge over Boston, but the Bruins hold two games in hand.
Youth will be served: Coach Michel Therrien reunited rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher on a line with Lars Eller and they produced a dividend when Galchenyuk opened the scoring off a scramble in front at 4:04 of the second period. It was the ninth goal of the season for Galchenyuk, who has goals in four of the past five games. Gallagher picked up an assist.
More juggling: Therrien also broke up the David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty partnership, putting Pacioretty with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. That trio provided Montreal with a 2-0 lead at 15:05 of the second period. Pacioretty kept the puck in the Tampa zone and fired a cross-ice pass to Plekanec whose shot was redirected by Gionta.
Good start: The first period was notable because Montreal wasn’t trailing by a few goals going into the first intermission. The scoresheet was blank as Price and Ben Bishop each made 10 saves. The Lightning had the better chances and Price came up big when made a leg save on Richard Panik on the rebound of a shot by Pointe Claire native Alex Killorn. Price had luck on his side as Teddy Purcell and Sami Salo hit posts, and a backhander by Lecavalier deflected off Price and hit the crossbar.
Specialty items: Panik scored a power-play goal at 17:36 of the second period to end Price’s shutout bid. Tampa Bay went 1-for-2 with the extra man, while the Canadiens went 1-for-6.
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