Game 71: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens

The Tampa Bay Lightning visited Montreal Thursday night to take on the Canadiens in front of an always loud crowd at the Bell Centre. For the Bolts it was game two of a three game Eastern Canada swing, with game three coming Saturday night in the capital city of Ottawa.

This game didn't go quite as planned though. Montreal won the game in a shootout 3-2 The recap after the jump.

This game had a lot more of the rough stuff than did the game against Toronto. It got started in the first period with Lightning already on a power play and captain Vincent Lecavalier getting a major penalty and a game misconduct for an incident with Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.

Both of the players were engaged in a battle prior to the penalty and Subban got a 2 minute minor for slashing on the same play. Vinny got a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. After all was said and done, Tampa continued their power play as a 4 on 3 then when the Subban minor expired, Montreal had a power play that totaled just over two minutes.

On the 4 on 3 power play, Teddy Purcell put the Lightning up 1-0 with his 17th goal of the season, a rebound shot from Martin St. Louis very early in the second period. Andrei Kostitsyn tied the score in the second for the Canadiens with his 18th of the year. After quite a few penalties in the first period, there were none called in the second and the period ended with the score tied 1-1.

In the third period, that monster the Lightning have been battling all season, the dreaded Short Handed Goal, raised it's ugly head again as Brian Gionta scored his 25th goal of the season. It was the 12th short handed goal the Lightning have given up this year and has been a perpetual problem all season.

More rough stuff continued in the third period as Simon Gagne tied the game for the Lightning at 10:31 of the 3rd while the Lightning were on a 4 minute power play with Benoit Pouliot in the box for holding and roughing.

Late in the third period the Lighting got quite a scare as goalie Dwayne Roloson took a hard shot high in the upper body. It appeared to hit him around the neck/collarbone area where there isn't a lot of padding and Roli is not one of the goalies that has the added shield hanging below his mask to protect the throat from shots.

Roloson was stunned and was looked at by the Lightning training staff but appeared to be ok and stayed in the game after working some of the feeling back into his left arm.

Regulation ended in a 2-2 tie and went to overtime where the Lightning actually lead the league in wins (this includes both the OT session and the shootouts as well) with 14 and are just one win away from tying the team record of 15.

There was no scoring in the extra period, and with the game still tied to the shootout: Montreal went first and the first shooter, Nigel Dawes, put the puck through the 5-hole. Roli stopped Brian Gionta and David Desharnais.

For the Lightning and their shooters: center Steven Stamkos missed the net with his attempt and Martin St. Louis tried the same spin-o-rama move that had worked previously for him, to no avail. Simon Gagne then scored in the third round to keep the Bolts alive.

But in the fourth round of the shootout, Mike Cammellari scored for the Canadiens, also through the 5 hole and Teddy Purcell wasn't able to find the back of the net.

One had to wonder if Roli was hurting in the extra period more than he was letting on. He definitely didn't seem to be at 100% in the shootout. The Lightning can only hope the injury is not serious and that Roloson will be able to go in his next start.

The Lightning peppered Montreal goalie Carey Price with shots in the third period, putting 14 shots on goal after having 20 in the first two periods. Both Price and Roloson made some spectacular saves, with Roli appearing in playoff form early, making several spectacular stops with the paddle and shaft of his stick to rob several Montreal attempts.

The Lightning's next game is at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa with a Saturday evening tilt against the Senators, who defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 tonight. Stop on by the game thread and say hi!

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