Tampa Bay at Montreal

Point leads Lightning over Canadiens, 4-3 in shootout

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STATS/AP

MONTREAL (AP) Brayden Point scored in regulation and added the shootout winner and the Tampa Bay Lightning regained the top spot in the NHL with a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Nikita Kucherov and Ryan Callahan also scored in regulation to help the Lightning (42-17-3) win their third straight and move a point ahead of idle Vegas for the overall NHL lead.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for his league-leading 36th victory of the season.

Steven Stamkos fought Karl Alzner in the first period after objecting to a knee-on-knee hit onh Kucherov. Stamkos was given 17 minutes of penalties on the play.

''I was watching Kucherov and it looked like a knee, fast,'' Stamkos said. ''And he kind of held his knee so I didn't know if he was hurt or not. It was just kind of a reaction thing. I know Alzner well and he's not a dirty player. It wasn't as malicious as I thought at the time.''

Byron Froese, Joe Morrow and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal. Antti Niemi, making his second straight start in relief of the injured Carey Price, stopped 36 shots. Price is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion.

Montreal fought off Morrow's high-sticking penalty in overtime to force a shootout, where Point beat Niemi top shelf for the only goal.

''We maintained a good rhythm from start to finish,'' Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. ''There were some defensive mistakes that led to good scoring chances on both sides. Our goalie played a great game. Happy with the overall effort.''

Montreal's Tomas Plekanec, for precautionary reasons, was a healthy scratch. The Canadiens are expected to trade the veteran center before Monday's trade deadline. Jacob de la Rose centered the third line in Plekanec's absence.

Froese opened the scoring by deflecting Jordie Benn's shot from the blue line past Vasilevskiy at 8:52 of the first period.

Tampa tied it when Point crossed up defensemen Benn and Morrow before beating Niemi to the blocker side at 12:07.

Kucherov gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead on a power play at 7:32 of the second period to extend his point streak to nine games. Kucherov went five-hole on Niemi with a one-timer for his team-leading 33rd goal.

Less than two minutes later, Morrow tied it with a precise wrist shot through traffic and off the post.

Pacioretty, with the man advantage, ended an 11-game goal drought to give Montreal a 3-2 lead at 16:29 of the second period.

With Phillip Danault in the box for slashing, Callahan made it 3-3 at 2:11 of the third when he redirected Kucherov's shot past Niemi.

NOTES: The Lightning have the second-best power play in the NHL. They finished 2 for 5 with the extra skater. ... Kucherov has 16 points in his last nine games.

UP NEXT

Lightning: Host Toronto on Monday night.

Canadiens: Host Philadelphia on Monday night.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

 
Scoreboard
Tampa Bay  (42-17-3) «11101 (1)4
Montreal (23-29-9)12000 (0)3
Three Stars
B. Point
TB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
N. Kucherov
TB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
A. Niemi
MON


Saves: 36
Save Pct.: .923

Related Video

Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
08:52 - Byron Froese (2), Tip-In. Assist: Benn, Carr
12:07 - Brayden Point (25), Wrist Shot. Assist: Killorn
2ND PERIOD
07:32Power Play - Nikita Kucherov (33), Slap Shot. Assist: Hedman, Johnson
08:50 - Joe Morrow (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Hudon, Pacioretty
16:29Power Play - Max Pacioretty (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Petry, Drouin
3RD PERIOD
02:11Power Play - Ryan Callahan (4), power play. Assist: Kucherov, Stamkos
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
  - Brayden Point (2), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
14:45Alzner, 5 min, Fighting
14:45Stamkos, 2 min, Instigator, served by Erne
14:45Stamkos, 5 min, Fighting
14:45Stamkos, 10 min, Misconduct
19:17Gallagher, 2 min, Roughing
19:17Hedman, 2 min, Roughing
2ND PERIOD
04:50Hudon, 2 min, Tripping
07:01Byron, 2 min, Interference
15:33Kucherov, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
07.0Froese, 2 min, Cross Checking
21.0Danault, 2 min, Slashing
03:39Killorn, 2 min, Hooking
06:17Namestnikov, 2 min, Hooking
OT
02:32Morrow, 2 min, High Sticking
SHOOTOUT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
TB12101133
MON1211831
 
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