Tampa Bay at Montreal

St. Louis, Lecavalier help Lightning end nine-game losing streak

CBSSports.com wire reports

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are more than ready to turn the page on former coach Barry Melrose.

Martin St. Louis scored twice, Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist, and Tampa Bay ended a nine-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Olaf Kolzig made 31 saves for Tampa Bay, which lost 4-2 in Buffalo on Wednesday. The Lightning were 0-7-2 since beating Nashville 4-1 on Nov. 21, their only other win in 16 games.

Tampa Bay is 2-7-4 since interim coach Rick Tocchet took over for Melrose, who ripped his former team earlier this week during an interview on a Toronto sports radio station.

"We don't really listen to what he says anymore," Lecavalier said. "He said it when he got fired, and he said it again a couple of weeks after so we don't really pay attention to that. We have great players here, a great coaching staff with Rick Tocchet, (Mike) Sullivan and (Wes) Walz, and we're going forward."

In an interview broadcast Tuesday on The Fan 990, Melrose said, "I hope Tampa Bay doesn't win a game in the next year."

Melrose, who will return to television in January as a hockey analyst, was fired on Nov. 14 after the Lightning started 5-7-4.

"It really doesn't matter what he says, to be honest," Tocchet said. "We're in it together and we're trying to get out of it. Stuff like that is like a fly on your back, you just swat it away."

Patrice Brisebois scored a power-play goal early in the first for Montreal, which fell to 4-1-1 on its franchise-record seven-game homestand.

"They had lost nine in a row and we didn't respect their work ethic," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said.

Lecavalier assisted on St. Louis' tying goal midway through the first before adding his 12th of the season moments later to put the Lightning up 2-1.

St. Louis increased the lead to two in the second with his second goal of the game, a short-handed effort that gave him 10 tallies this season.

"If you don't get up for these games in this building, you don't have the right blood running through your veins," said St. Louis, who grew up in suburban Montreal.

Jaroslav Halak made his second start in a row. The Montreal backup stopped 19 shots but dropped to 3-3-1.

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu went to the dressing room for a good part of the second period, and didn't return for the third. Koivu will have tests Thursday for a lower body injury.

"He was too sore to continue," Carbonneau said.

Defenseman Ryan O'Byrne and left winger Guillaume Latendresse returned to the lineup for Montreal, which lost Mathieu Dandenault and Christopher Higgins in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Calgary.

Dandenault is sidelined indefinitely after having surgery Wednesday on his broken left arm. Higgins is out due to an unspecified upper body injury.

Brisebois scored his second of the season 5:34 in when he took a pass from Alexei Kovalev and beat Kolzig with a wrist shot from the slot.

St. Louis extended his point streak to six games when his shot from the left side went off Halak's left pad and through the goalie's legs, drawing Tampa Bay even at 10:49.

Lecavalier scored at 12:03 to put the Lightning up 2-1.

St. Louis increased the lead at 8:31 of the second when he drove in on a breakaway and beat Halak while teammate Marek Malik sat in the penalty box.


  • St. Louis has five goals and three assists during his point streak.
  • Canadiens D Andrei Markov extended his point streak to six with an assist on Brisebois' goal. Markov has three goals and five assists over that span.
  • Montreal rookie RW Matt D'Agostini had a four-game goal spurt snapped. D'Agostini has four goals and one assist in six games since he was recalled from Hamilton (AHL).
  • With an assist on St. Louis' first goal, Mark Recchi moved into a tie with Jari Kurri for third place on the NHL career points list among right wingers. Recchi and Kurri have 1,398 points, trailing Gordie Howe and Jaromir Jagr.
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Martin St. Louis is pumped after extending his scoring streak to six games with two goals. (AP)
Martin St. Louis is pumped after extending his scoring streak to six games with two goals. (AP)
Related Links
Tampa Bay  (7-14-8) «2103
Montreal (16-7-5)1001
Three Stars
M. St. Louis

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
O. Kolzig

Saves: 31
Save Pct.: .969
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
05:34Power Play - Patrice Brisebois (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Kovalev, Markov
10:49Martin St. Louis (9), Slap Shot. Assist: Recchi, Lecavalier
12:03Vincent Lecavalier (12), Tip-In. Assist: Meszaros, Krajicek
08:31Short - Martin St. Louis (10), Snap Shot. Assist: Krajicek
Penalty Summary
02:23Konopka, 5 min, Fighting
02:23Bouillon, 5 min, Fighting
04:33Szczechura, 2 min, Slashing
06:11Lapierre, 2 min, Interference
12:13Kostitsyn, 2 min, Tripping
17:15Craig, 2 min, Hooking
01:06Eminger, 2 min, Interference
07:29Malik, 2 min, Interference
12:58Lecavalier, 2 min, Hooking
16:24Kostitsyn, 2 min, Holding
16:11Kovalev, 2 min, Tripping
18:21Lecavalier, 2 min, Hooking
18:21Lecavalier, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay117422
Olaf Kolzig60:00311
Jaroslav Halak58:21193
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Tampa Bay0-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 21273
Referees - Marc Joannette, Dean Morton
Linesmen - Derek Amell, Lonnie Cameron
Other Games
Fla 2 Final
Edm 0
Car 5 Final
Phi 6
StL 2 Final
LA 6
NYI 2 Final
Pitt 9
Min 1 Final
Pho 3
Ana 0 Final
SJ 2
Nash 1 Final
Colu 2