Montreal at Tampa Bay

Niittymaki earns first shutout as Lightning keep Habs off scoreboard

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning got key goals, strong goaltending and finally have won three in a row.

Vincent Lecavalier scored a nifty goal and added an assist, Antero Niittymaki made 33 saves and the Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Wednesday.

"Big saves. He played great," Lecavalier said about Niittymaki, who made his seventh consecutive start.

Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos also scored for Tampa Bay, which has its first three-game winning streak since beating the Canadiens on Jan. 27, 2009.

"They answered the bell," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said.

Lecavalier gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead at 2:23 of the second when he put his stick between his legs and sent a shot past goalie Carey Price.

"It was kind of scramble play and those good players find a way to make a good play," Price said.

Niittymaki recorded his first shutout of the season and fifth overall. He made a glove save during a first-period breakaway by Montreal left wing Benoit Pouliot.

"Early in the game it's big," Niittymaki said. "They might get the momentum there if the guy scores."

Montreal was coming off a 2-1 loss Tuesday night at Florida. Canadiens coach Jacques Martin remains tied for ninth place on the career NHL coaching victory list (542) with Billy Reay.

"It's disappointing to come down here and play two, for the most part, uninspired games," Canadiens defenseman Ryan O'Byrne said.

The Canadiens have lost five of seven.

"No one's going to feel sorry for us," Montreal center Scott Gomez said. "We've got to regroup. We've got to come up with a new game plan and go at it again."

St. Louis put the Lightning up 1-0 from the low slot off a pass from Steve Downie at 9:50 of the first.

After Lecavalier scored early in the second, Stamkos made it 3-0 on his 28th goal this season from the left circle during a power play with 14:06 left in the period.

"All in all, Tampa had a great game from minute zero to minute 60," Price said.

Montreal left wing Mike Cammalleri had his five-game points streak (five goals, eight points) end.

The teams were sent to their locker rooms with 1:38 left in the second to allow for the repair of a broken pane of glass. After a normal between periods break, the third period was started immediately after the remaining time in second was played.

Notes

  • Stamkos has goals in three straight games.
  • Montreal D Jaroslav Spacek didn't play due to the flu.
  • Lightning G Mike Smith returned as the backup after missing the previous six games because of a strained neck.
  • Montreal D Paul Mara (upper body) missed his third straight game.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Refs have a tough time breaking up the fight between Scott Gomez (left) and Victor Hedman. (Getty Images)
Refs have a tough time breaking up the fight between Scott Gomez (left) and Victor Hedman. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Montreal (25-24-5)0000
Tampa Bay  (22-20-10) «1203
Three Stars
A. Niittymaki
TB


Saves: 33
Save Pct.: 1.000
S. Downie
TB


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
V. Lecavalier
TB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:50Martin St. Louis (15), Tip-In. Assist: Downie
2ND PERIOD
02:23Vincent Lecavalier (14), Backhand Shot. Assist: Tanguay, Downie
05:54Power Play - Steven Stamkos (29), Slap Shot. Assist: Foster, Lecavalier
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:18Szczechura, 2 min, Tripping
12:48Gomez, 2 min, Hooking
19:33Smaby, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
04:31Gionta, 2 min, Tripping
09:51Hedman, 2 min, Roughing
09:51Hedman, 2 min, Roughing
09:51Smaby, 5 min, Fighting
09:51Gomez, 2 min, Roughing
09:51Gomez, 2 min, Roughing
09:51O'Byrne, 5 min, Fighting
09:51Hedman, 10 min, Misconduct
09:51Gomez, 10 min, Misconduct
15:32Hamrlik, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
12:50Malone, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
 123T
Montreal1291233
Tampa Bay8121030
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Carey Price60:00273
Antero Niittymaki60:00330
Game Information
Attendance - 14404
Referees - Stephen Walkom, Rob Martell
Linesmen - Dan Schachte, Pierre Racicot
 
Other Games
Car 5 Final
NYR 1
NJ 1 Final
Buf 2
StL 2 Final
Van 3
Ana 1 Final
Wash 5
Cal 3 Final
Dal 4
Det 2 Final
Min 5