Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Tuesday, December 11th
Lightning3Final
SO
Canadiens2
Game 2: Thursday, December 27th
Canadiens5Final
Lightning2
Game 3: Thursday, January 3rd
Lightning3Final
Canadiens6
Game 4: Tuesday, February 12th
Canadiens2Final
Lightning3

Lightning 3

(14-14-3, 31 pts)

Canadiens 2

(14-11-5, 33 pts)

Coverage: TSN

7:30 PM ET, December 11, 2007

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 SO T
TB 0 2 0 13
MTL 0 1 1 02

B. Richards (Lightning - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

A. Kovalev (Canadiens - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

V. Lecavalier (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Lightning hand slumping Canadiens sixth straight home loss

MONTREAL (AP) -- Brad Richards shut down the Montreal Canadiens' power-play unit in overtime, and then he got speedy and delivered a shootout winner.

Richards scored in the shootout to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 win over Montreal on Tuesday night.

After helping to kill a four-on-three disadvantage in overtime, Richards drove in fast and put a wrist shot past Carey Price on the Lightning's second attempt.

"I've found that if I go in with speed and doing something quick I have more success, and that's all it is, there's no secret," said Richards, who is 2-for-2 in the shootout this season. "I go in and try to shoot, it's pretty simple. I don't have the hands to do a bunch of dipsy-doodle stuff."

Price, who stopped Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, was impressed with Richards' no-nonsense approach.

"He came in with a lot of steam and I think he knew what he was doing before he touched the puck, and he hit his mark," said Price, who made 29 saves in the game.

Marc Denis stopped Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn and Saku Koivu after turning aside 28 shots during the game to claim his first win of the season.

Richards also contributed a mighty penalty-killing effort as Tampa Bay held on through the final 1:56 of overtime after Vaclav Prospal was sent off for tripping Kostitsyn.

The Canadiens, who lost 6-1 to Carolina on Saturday, have lost six straight at home. Montreal has lost six of eight overall (2-4-2).

Plekanec brought the sold-out Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 to life with 4:38 remaining when he tied it at 2, beating Denis with a shot from the slot for his 10th goal.

The Czech center danced off to the right corner and leaped into the glass above the boards while St. Louis, Brad Lukowich and Shane O'Brien were left hunched over and hanging their heads.

"We worked hard for that goal, and we worked really hard to get that point," Price said.

Alexei Kovalev scored 47 seconds into the middle period for Montreal. His stick broke off and went flying as his slap shot from the right side beat Denis for his 13th goal, less than 20 seconds after Lukowich was sent off for hooking.

Tampa Bay came back, with Lecavalier scoring his 20th goal just more than a minute later. On a power play, Lecavalier beat Price on a slap shot from the point that went in off the rookie goalie's glove.

"It was like trying to catch a knuckleball," Price said.

Lecavalier, who led the league with a team-record 52 goals last season, reached 20 goals for the eighth straight season.

Andre Roy scored his second of the season with an unassisted effort at 8:58 to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead. The scoring opportunity materialized out of nowhere, when rookie Canadiens defenseman Ryan O'Byrne fell as he was playing the puck while skating back in his zone.

Roy grabbed the loose puck and moved into the slot, where he beat Price with a shot into the top left corner of the net.

"That was huge," Roy said. "I was at the end of my shift and I was pretty exhausted but I gave a last push and I was lucky enough that O'Byrne just lost it."

Game notes


Lecavalier had 13 goals as an 18-year-old rookie in 1998-99. ... Denis stopped 18-of-20 shootout attempts last season for a .900 save percentage, the highest success rate of any goalie who faced six or more shots in the tiebreaking format. ... Price has started seven of Montreal's last nine games. ... Canadiens defenseman Mark Streit celebrated his 30th birthday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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