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Game #25, Montreal at Tampa Bay, Sat. Mar. 9, 7:00 EST.


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The Montreal Canadiens were mired in their longest losing streak of the season when they arrived in Tampa last month.

The Eastern Conference leaders are playing much better as they make their final visit of 2012-13.

Montreal will try to earn points for the 13th time in 14 games on Saturday night when the slumping Lightning look to avoid their first four-game home losing streak in three seasons.

Starting with a 4-3 shootout win over Tampa Bay (10-13-1) on Feb. 12 that ended their 0-2-1 stretch, the Canadiens (15-5-4) have gone 9-1-3 to move atop the Northeast Division and two points ahead of second-place Pittsburgh in the East.

Montreal's run has truly been a team effort, with different lines carrying the club in each of the first three stops of its five-game trip. David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher combined for three goals and six points in Sunday's 4-3 victory over Boston. Michael Ryder (three assists), Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec had five points in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders and the Brandon Prust-Lars Eller-Alex Galchenyuk line contributed six points in Thursday's 4-2 win over Carolina.

"We've got three lines firing right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if the fourth line came up big for us in the next game," Prust told the Canadiens' official website after matching Eller's goal and two assists for a career-high three points. "When you have four lines you can roll like this, everybody gets their rest because we know we can rely on each other. That's the key to our game."

The Canadiens, whose 7-2-2 start outside Montreal is their best since opening 9-2-0 in 1997-98, are clearly playing with confidence,

The Lightning are not, as they've lost seven of nine. They've also dropped six of seven against visiting teams after opening 5-0-0 at home.

Tampa Bay is among the NHL's best with 3.42 goals per game, but the club has found the back of the net just 16 times during a 1-6-0 skid. Steven Stamkos has six of those goals after netting his league-leading 18th in Thursday's 2-1 home loss to Winnipeg.

"Obviously, you've got to produce, but you want to do it when the team is winning. Feels a lot better that way," he said. "When you're not winning, then maybe there's more I can do, we can do as a team.''

Stamkos, three goals shy of 200, has been doing his part with 11 goals and 18 points in 12 games since getting held off the scoresheet on Feb. 12.

Martin St. Louis is also on a nice run, compiling five assists and seven points during a five-game point streak.

The Lightning, though, need more production from Vincent Lecavalier, who has no goals in nine games. However, their captain has 19 points in his last 18 games against Montreal after setting up Sami Salo's game-tying goal last month that capped off Tampa Bay's rally from three down in the third.

Defenseman Victor Hedman scored the Lightning's first two of that period versus Carey Price, who finished with 21 saves and stopped all three tiebreaker attempts.

Anders Lindback turned aside 31 shots for Tampa Bay in that game, but he'll be watching Saturday's game from the bench if coach Guy Boucher gives recent call-up Cedrick Desjardins, a former Montreal minor leaguer, his third career start, and first since 2010-11.

Desjardins made 27 saves in his first NHL appearance, a 4-1 Lightning home win over the Canadiens on Dec. 30, 2010.

Team Comparison

Team G W L OTL Pts Standings GF GA Road/Home

tampa3.gif Tampa Bay GP-24,,W,10,, L 13,,OTL,, 1,,,PTs,, 21

4th Southeast GF,, 82,,GA ,, 75,,,,Home Record 6-5-1

mon.gif Montreal GP,,24,,,W,,15,,L5,,OTL 4,,,PTs 34

1st Northeast,,GF 75,,,GA 61,,,,Road Record 7-2-2

Team Stat Leaders
Goals Steven Stamkos, TB 18
Assists Martin St. Louis, TB ,,,25
Michael Ryder, Mon,,,12
Points Steven Stamkos, TB,,,35
Max Pacioretty, Mon,,,20
Plus/Minus Brandon Prust, Mon,,,13
Sami Salo, TB,,,10
That's enough,,,start the chit-chat.

Dicuss amongst ourselves

kinot-1s Game day record 2-1-1

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Thanks for stepping up to the plate and doing this one last minute kinot. Very nice job. ;)

Anytime htl,,,what's a GDT,,,without a GDT? :rolleyes:

Anyway,,,I forgot this important stat. (or couldn't find it,,,or something),,,to wit:

Who's hot: For the Canadiens, defenseman P.K. Subban is riding a five-game point streak, with three goals and four assists over that span, and he has actually managed to get at least a point in 12 of the 18 games he's played this season. With his sixth goal against Carolina on Thursday, Subban moved into a tie for the League lead among defensemen in that category. …For the Lightning, Stamkos has been just about as consistent a scorer as anyone could be, scoring goals in nine of his last 11 games. He has 11 goals and six assists over that span.

Injury report: The Canadiens are missing defenseman Raphael Diaz and right wing Rene Bourque, both out with concussions, while center Petteri Nokelainen (lower body) still has not played this season. … The Lightning have forward Benoit Pouliot (upper body) on injured reserve and goaltender Mathieu Garon is out with a lower-body injury.

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I'll be there tonight. I really thank the NHL for putting teams in non hockey markets! I bought my tix yesterday 5 rows behind the bench a pair for 300$. I cannot imagine how much they would cost at home, for a Saturday night game, any ideas?

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I'll be there tonight. I really thank the NHL for putting teams in non hockey markets! I bought my tix yesterday 5 rows behind the bench a pair for 300$. I cannot imagine how much they would cost at home, for a Saturday night game, any ideas?

Listed cost would be 300 per ticket but the thing is you cannot get your hands on them, not even on resale market. Anyhow, come say hello tonight, I,ll be just a couple rows in front of you :)

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Nice game day thread Kinot.

T-Bay is sitting in the basement, but they're still a dangerous team.

Stamkos is on a tear right now, our defenders will have to contain him.

i figure Price is in the nets, hope he's as sharp as he was against the canes.

Go Habs Go!

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Great GDT Kinot!


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Great GDT.

Good for the kids ! What kind of D is Paryn ? I have not really paid attention to Hamilton Much. Also has anyone announced Which Goalie is in ..I am guessing Price and Budaj will split the back to back

Pretty sure he is a defensive D man.

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GO_HABS_GO_zpsa021b1a8.gif.......GO PRICE!

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