Lousy game, but a W is a W
Lars Eller scored the only goal of the Shootout, and Carey Price made saves on Valtteri Filppula, Nikita Kucherov and Teddy Purcell to secure two points.
Tomas Plekanec's 13th of the season and the great Martin St. Louis's 17th – both scored in the second period – were the only goals through 65 minutes.
Carey Price made 23 saves, Ben Bishop 20.
On to the Shootout:
Filppula: Glove save
Kuchherov: Leg save
DD: High shot
Home team surges
No scoring in the third period, but Tampa bay outshout the Canadiens 14-6.
Carey Price was particularly hot during a TB power play.
On to OT.
Finally, some goals
Tomas Plekanec put the Canadiens on the board with his 13th of the season, a shot that snuck in under Ben Bishop's arm.
The lead lasted less than six minutes before Martin St. Louis – who else – snapped one between Carey Price and the post.
Shots were 8-6 Canadiens.
Power plays for both teams have struggled.
Max Pacioretty took an errant puck to the face and did not return from the clinic.
The home team took 11 minutes to get a shot on goal and ended up at the short end of a 7-3 shot total.
Three power plays – two by the Canadiens – were impotent.
Alex Galchenyuk had the best scoring chance but was foiled by a backchecking Martin St. Louis.
A genuine four-pointer
Your Montreal Canadiens return from their six-day Christmas break to face an Atlantic Division rival.
No, not Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, Detroit or Buffalo – all cities clutched in the icy grip of winter.
The Tampa Bay Lightning don't drive through snow drifts to get to their practice rink.
Like the Florida Panthers, whom the Canadiens play on Sunday, the Lightning are the warm-weather rivals of the aforementioned cold-weather cities.
And the Lightning have been hot on the ice.
They sit second in the Atlantic behind Boston and two points ahead of the Canadiens. And the Lightning ride a five-game winning streak into the Saturday showdown.
In this season's previous meeting, Nov. 12 at the Bell Centre, Carey Price made 44 saves – including six in OT – but Valtteri Filppula secured a 2-1 Lightning win by scoring the only goal in the Shootout. Beanpole Ben Bishop stopped 28 of 29 Canadiens shots through 65 minutes and all three Shootout attempts.
Puck drops 7:10ish.
Check back later for live game blogging.