Plekanec leads Canadiens to 4-2 win over Lightning
MONTREAL – Tomas Plekanec scored twice and added an assist to give the Canadiens a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, extending Montreal’s win streak to three games.
Brendan Gallagher and Devante Smith-Pelly also scored for Montreal (27-24-4). With 37 saves, Ben Scrivens earned his third consecutive victory after going 0-4 to start the season.
Scrivens had back-to-back wins over the weekend, defeating his former club Edmonton on Saturday and then Carolina on Sunday.
Valtteri Filppula and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning (29-20-4). Ben Bishop stopped 23-of-27 shots.
The Lightning have now dropped consecutive games in regulation time for the first time since Nov. 27-28 after a 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday.
Montreal lost defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and forward Brian Flynn to lower-body injuries on the same shift late in the second period. Neither returned for the third.
Plekanec scored his first of the contest at 6:40 of the second. With the game tied 1-1, the Habs forward went five-hole on Bishop following a missed clearance by Tampa’s Tyler Johnson.
Plekanec got his second at 6:17 of the third to give Montreal a 4-1 lead, waiting out Bishop to beat the Lightning netminder from a tight angle.
After going seven games without a goal, Plekanec now has seven points in his last three games (three goals, four assists).
Tampa Bay fired 16 pucks on net in the third period but was only rewarded once.
Montreal has won three straight for the first time in more than two months.
And the home side started things off on the right foot.
Following a blocked shot in their own end, Gallagher and Plekanec stormed down the ice on a 2-on-1. With the puck on his stick, Gallagher opted not to pass, and fired home a bouncing puck top shelf past Bishop at 5:56 of the first.
A failed clearance by P.K. Subban led to Tampa Bay’s equalizer 40 seconds into the second. Victor Hedman intercepted Subban’s weak dump-out attempt before feeding Filppula, who used Ryan Callahan as a screen to beat Scrivens glove-side.
After Plekanec restored Montreal’s lead, Subban made up for his earlier mistake on Montreal’s third marker. With eight seconds remaining in the second, the defenceman’s backhand shot on net went off Smith-Pelly’s shin and in.
Subban extended his point streak to seven games. He has at least one point in 16 of his last 18 games.
Notes: Injured defenceman Jeff Petry (lower body) was not in the lineup. … Six players from Canada’s 1972 Summit Series team were honoured in a pre-game ceremony: Guy Lapointe, Ken Dryden, Yvan Cournoyer, Peter Mahovlich, Serge Savard and Pat Stapleton.
© 2016 The Canadian Press