The Canadiens are within one of their record for consecutive home-ice losses … but at least the latest one wasn’t an embarrassment.
After Marc Denis, who had not won a game this season, made a brilliant leg save on Saku Koivu to complete his shootout shutout, there was stunned silence in the Bell Centre, rather than the raucous boos that have rained down on the team after recent losses.
Canadiens came back from a 2-1 third-period deficit and salvaged a point against Tampa Bay.
"We battled back," said Saku Koivu. "We’ve talked a lot about playing 60 minutes and not having letdowns. We can’t take a period off."
Like the second. If the stat sheet is to be believed, the Canadiens had 13 giveaways in the middle period, 22 after 40 minutes – to two for Tampa Bay. Lightning scored their second goal off a blooper reel giveaway by Ryan O’Byrne, who played two minutes of the thhird period and was benched for the OT.
The Canadiens didn’t quit. Tomas Plekaanec tied the game at 2 with four and a hlf minutes left, and the Canadiens had the best of the OT.
"We have to take the third period, memorize it and play like that for 60 minutes," said Alex Kovalev.
The coach thinks Canadiens "have to find a way to turn chances into goals."
Maybe Thursday in Philadelphia. And then, with that record for home-ice futility looming, Toronto is here on Saturday.