Game 57: Lightning shocks Canadiens

Canadiens’ Alex Kovalev splits Lightning defencemen Paul Ranger (left) and Dan Boyle during the first period on Tuesday night.
REUTERS/Mike Carlson

Updated by The Gazette’s Kevin Mio

Lineups | Preview | Game Summary | Event Summary | Game Story | Boxscore | Boone

The Canadiens dropped their third straight game on Tuesday night with a 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Eastern Conference’s worst team.

Vaclav Prospal scored a pair of goals for the Lightning, including the game winner 12 minutes into the third period.

Of their three consecutive losses, two have come against the worst teams in the East, including a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In between those two games was a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the East’s best team, the Ottawa Senators. The Canadiens have also lost four of their last five games overall.

Canadiens goaltender Cristobal Huet would probably like to have all three Lightning goals back as the French netminder didn’t look comfortable in net. His counterpart, Karri Ramo, had a much easier night as the Habs could muster only 21 shots.

The Habs, playing their first game since the arrest of Ryan O’Byrne and Tom Kostopoulos, got off to a fast start as Christopher Higgins scored his 17th of the season only 50 seconds into the game.
Tampa Bay got that one back only a few minutes later when Michel Ouellet scored on a rebound 5:15 into the first period.
Before the halfway point of the period, Tomas Plekanec made it 2-1 for the Canadiens with a power-play goal, his 21st of the season, on a nice pass from Mark Streit.
But the lead would not last to the end of the period as Vaclav Prospal scored on a harmless looking shot with only 41 seconds to play. Prospal added his second of the game 11:51 into the third period to give Tampa Bay the lead for good.
After a solid first period, the Canadiens failed to put any pressure on Ramo and the Lightning, registering only four shots in the second period and eight in the third. Overall, the Habs were outshot 36-18, with the Lightning firing 17 shots on Huet in the third period.
The Canadiens will play the Florida Panthers Wednesday night.


  1. Shiloh says:

    We just finished changing the Regulation governing teacher-training for the deaf and hearing-impaired. I was shocked at the gulf between the two deaf communities – the technically-assisted people (cochlear implants) disagree completely with the “cultural” deaf community who espouse heavy qualifications in ASL or LSQ. It was very interesting.

  2. The Teacher says:

    Cool story, sad to hear that you have a Domi in your building.

    I actually did my Bach in English at the U of O. I am from Montreal and had family issues back home so came back and started to work. I was working last year teaching hearing impaired kids and now am looking for a permanent position as I am substituting. The beginning of the year was slow but it is really picking up now (getting called that is).

    It’s sad to see that CBC is no longer showing Habs games all the time, hope it doesn’t put a dent in our fan base of the future.

    I agree with you regarding Latendresse, he is clearly the beneficiary of being a coaches pet at this point.

  3. Shiloh says:

    Grew up in a big family – lots of brothers. We all played hockey and loved it. The big deal for us was Saturday night – we got to stay up and watch HNIC. The games back then came on at 9 pm so you got to see about half of it.

    We got TV when I was 7 or 8 and shortly after the Leafs had a rookie named Dick Duff who I liked. Then, a few years later, I saw Cournoyer who blew me away. When Duff joined him in Montreal that sealed the deal. I have been a Habs fan for over 45 years.

    I’m smack in the middle of Leaf nation – Domi even lives in my building. It’s sad to see the Loafs reduced to this – the fans here don’t say much. In October, however, they believed they had a Cup contender.

    I miss Thunder Bay – a nice city with everything one could want. Work keeps me busy – this job is quite intense. Toronto is huge but there are many times I feel kind of isolated – really miss my wife and kids and dog – and my 6-year old grandson who is also a big Habs fan. I do get home for two weekends a month and for a long stretch in the summer.

    I started posting here mostly because I can’t believe that Latendresse never sits. Every game I watch – and I see most of them on RDS – he is just so out of place. If he ever is going to amount to anything he’ll need to develop his game in the minors – but I sure get slammed for saying that.

    So – how did you end up teaching in Montreal? Did you take you Fac Ed at Ottawa en francais? I visit the Ottawa Fac Ed students in Ottawa as well as at their francophone satellite faculties at Glendon (York campus) and in Windsor.

  4. The Teacher says:

    Very interesting. How are you enjoying it in Toronto? It must be painful being a Habs fan in Leaf Country 😉 I drove into Toronto last year the day before the final game. You better be sure I had my Habs flag flying proudly on the 401.

    I was in Ottawa for two years obtaining a B.Ed and M.Ed. I did my first undergrad in Montreal.

    How does one become a Habs fan in Thunder Bay? What’s your story?

  5. Shiloh says:

    I teach in Thunder Bay, but I’m on a leave for three years. I was elected Chair of the Ontario College of Teachers in 2006 so I’m in Toronto at the College till June ’09.

  6. Shiloh says:

    No – I’m a teacher too. Do you teach in Ontario?

  7. The Teacher says:

    No, I’m in Montreal. I did do my Education in Ontario though.

    Whereabouts are you teaching?

  8. The Teacher says:

    Yes, I am. And you’re turning me to the dark side now 😉

  9. jew4jah says:

    pure boognish

  10. Dave Stubbs says:

    We let a LOT of stuff go here. The comment that was deleted was offensive to a number of people who emailed me about it. I couldn’t disagree with them. Ultimately, we have to decide what we’ll allow and what we won’t. Nothing personal.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  11. Hockey11 says:

    Dandys 3 hits and 2 shots don’t count?, Laps is a bust, Smokes is nowhere, you don’t like Dandy, trade him

    This team is playoff bound, you want who from Hamilton?, the regular season is foreplay for the playoffs, gimme playoffs and gimme experience.

    Why is Pleks taking faceoffs with the goalie out, he was struggling with draws big time.

    We need coaching and 5 v 5 scoring


  12. planet habs says:

    This is a game habs should have won. Too bad THEY NEVER PLAY 60 MINUTES! what am I saying? they didn’t play for 6 minutes! habs have now lost 4 of their last 5. Thats what happens when: a) you don’t show up! 2) Huet can’t stop a shot! Welcome to the habs of last year!
    No playoffs guys

  13. PureGuava says:

    Latrendesse looked lost out there. I’m just about willing to swap Smolinski for Koivu on the depth chart. Put him with SK47 and Ryder, and increase their minutes.

  14. downeast hab says:

    Another loss. Must be some hangovers from that night on the town by every player on the ice. my question is;where is the system.

  15. Shiloh says:

    SK74 on a line with Dandy and Lats. In order for him to succeed he’ll have to do it all himself.

    Here’s a few ideas:

    1. Release Smolinski, Dandenault and Brisebois.

    2. Call up some young guys

    3. Send Latendresse to Hamilton – and maybe Lapierre too.

    4. Get a tough guy – is Downey still available?

    5. Leave the Koivu and Plekanec lines alone – go with them until the end of the year.

    6. If Price isn’t going to play, recall Halak and give him a shot and let Price play every game in Hamilton.

    7. Too many guys behind the bench – go with Carbo and Muller – let Jarvis watch from upstairs.

  16. HNS says:

    It’s nice to see that we still make the crap teams in this league look great. Great time to tank….

  17. ClaytonM says:

    First of all, every single pro scout would have bet the farm that their first pick, Doug Wickenheiser, was the next superstar of the NHL. He was being compared to the greats like Lafleur, Bossy and Orr. If you actually think you could do a better job running a team than Sam Pollock, you’re proving your foolishness, buddy.

    Who knew that his sister would be a bigger hockey star than him?

    If you want to blame Habs management, blame them for trading Chelios for Savard. If we still had Chelios then players like Komisarek and Bouillon would have had a true mentor from the day the made the team.

  18. showey47 says:

    the wings are number one i think we are 5th or 6th over all. The laffs picking up a couple wins against top teams is just another example of how much parity in the league, anyone can beat anyone. The better teams just win a little more ofter.

  19. showey47 says:

    I do think we are one player away from competing for it. Did anyone think the oilers were gonna get to the cup final 2 years ago? The playoffs are a crapshoot anyone can win

  20. showey47 says:

    does it matter, no that was like 27 years ago.

  21. showey47 says:

    I must be really getting under your skin, i love it. Now you know how the rest of the people on this site feel about you. Nice knowing ya.

  22. PGHABS says:

    brisebois has nothing to do with this effort. this is awful. i thought tampa was in last? hmmm
    the only reason we are in this game is huet has made some athletic saves, but what an awful game

  23. Shiloh says:

    Are you a teacher?

  24. MNaslund26 says:

    all i can think since the start of this game is we need hamrlik back as soon as possible. brisbois is not quite the player he used to never be.

  25. The Teacher says:

    LMAO Shiloh.

  26. Shiloh says:

    Isn’t Lats playing well tonight? I mean, he actually touched the puck twice in the 2nd period – and there’s a few minutes to go.

  27. Smart Dog says:

    No Hamrlik. Brisebois and Smolinski in the line-up. I think I’ll watch CSI. This one is probably already over.

    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  28. Shiloh says:

    Are you sure you wouldn’t throw in Kovalev as well?

  29. Habhopeful says:

    and thats why you’d be in the same last place as the make beliefs

  30. 24 Cups says:

    Sorry kRob, but I’ll pass on Prospal. This guy runs so hot and cold from game to game it’s kind of like being in the shower when somebody unexpectedly flushes a toilet in the other bathroom.

    The Original 24 Cups

  31. showey47 says:

    Do i think we are gonna win the cup? no. Are we headed in the right direction?yes. Tampa will not part with vinny, not with the sale of the team in limbo. Who in their right mind would trade him? You say trade 5 guys.

    what five guys? It would have to involve price, komi, higgins just to start.Rose colored glasses? lmao Take off the blue and white ones troll

  32. showey47 says:

    no they are first, take a look at the standings before you start trolling. Man, are any of your FACTS ever right?

  33. RH says:

    I guess I’m assuming that Huet is starting tonight, based on what I’ve read above. I’m looking for Huet to be sharp tonight, after that debacle in Ottawa. I’m also reasonably confident that Price will get the start in net, tomorrow night. Why bother calling him back up, if he’s not going to start? Especially with back-to-backs?

  34. Habsrule1 says:

    You’re too hard on Breezer, my dear. Used properly, he makes no more mistakes than everyone else. Ok…not too many more.

    Go Habs Go!!


  35. ClaytonM says:

    I replied to this point above, Showey. He thinks he’s smarter than Pollock now.

  36. ClaytonM says:

    You’d trade your yacht for an anchor, I bet

  37. planet habs says:

    Huet! couldn’t stop a beachball! 2 softies so far and counting……….

  38. Woah_Dana says:

    This game should be a “gimme” but with Breezer on the ice it may turn out to be more of a “here you are”..

    GO HABS!
    ~Sergei Kostitsyn, marry me!!

  39. joe-hab-nuno says:

    You know when the players get interviewed and after a loss we always hear “We have to keep it simple”

    Can’t get much simplier then “PLAY HARD FOR 60 MIN”

    Go habs GO

  40. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I only pray for 2 things each time they play.
    1- Play hard for 60 min
    If they win , i’m the happiest hab fan out there.
    If they lose, I’m proud they played hard and tried.
    2- Stop trying to shut down teams when you have a lead

    Just trying to see where they could have been in the standings if they hadn’t gone to overtime or lost those games where they tried holding the lead by trying to shut down the opposition.

    Go Higgins go

  41. krob1000 says:

    Anyone heard anything about any possible line combos or whether Huet is going tonight or tomorrow (or both). Two back to backs in one week (you out there Fact guy)….I wonder if Huet gets three or if this is split. Normally Carbo already knows what he is doing so I am surprised not to have heard yet.

  42. carmine007 says:


    It’s NEVER over til it’s OVER!

  43. krob1000 says:

    He’d be way down on my list too (Prospal) and yes that was him. I just thought it was interesting when someone mentioned him because he does play a grittier offensive game and I found it interesting. You are probably right and even more so given the crap from Tampa and on the other thread…all the team needs is more controversy.

  44. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    true…but playoffs are a different world…then again we had their number the year they won the cup, before they took koivus eye out.

    that would have been our cup…
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev… his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  45. carmine007 says:

    Here is a perfect example of why hockey players need to put themselves in a higher standard than football or baseball. Hockey is a international game and if O’byrne cant travel to the US, then he’s worthless to us and to any other team. Man I’m so pissed that this is getting so much press coverage her is the states. Seems the press feed off bad new and not the good stuff.

    Lets hope we can play a good match and get back on our winning ways.

    It’s NEVER over til it’s OVER!

  46. showey47 says:

    I do hope that ryan does get to play and is paired with the hamr, that gives us an excellent second pairing that can play a shutdown role. I’m not sure about prospal, isn’t he the guy who called brisebois a “frog” back in his sens day? He is a skilled player but i don’t know if he would be welcome in the city of montreal.

  47. 24 Cups says:

    Dave Stubbs – Have we lost the ‘flag as offensive’ feature for each individual post? Or am I just missing something here.

    The Original 24 Cups

  48. krob1000 says:

    I sure hope so ….he was our most unsung hero and the glue that holds the defense together. Surely he is o.k. by now….we need him against Vincent when Komi isn’t matched against him. I am going to try and pay special attention to Prospal tonight as a few people have suggested him as a 2nd tier player potentially available this year.

  49. idle says:

    Thats the difference between being the ‘number 1’ and being the back up. Besides, except for the 2’nd goal where I don’t know what the hell Huet was doing, you can’t fault him on the others. The whole team laid an egg at the stat of the game, it’s not fair to dump it all on Huet.

  50. idle says:

    Before beating the Habs the Leafs beat Ottawa and afterwards they beat Detroit. There are no easy games or easy points in this league. I don’t know how many times it needs to be proven.

  51. RH says:

    I think Carolina is a toss up. Habs won both games in there building this season.

  52. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I don’t think we should lose sight on 1st place. If we play the way were supposed to, we may just find a back door into 1st, IF Ott has some hiccups and we play them 2 more times…we should be shooting for 1st, not jockeying into a spot.

    Aside from Jersey, I think we’d do well against Philly and Pitts, we have their number. Carolina has ours and Ovech has ours also.

    We need to avoid Ottawa and Jersey…all else is good.

    but lets make the playoffs first…if we lose another 2 or three games in a row then were in big trouble.
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev… his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  53. showey47 says:

    “Think about – Do you think that makes real sense. Where would that leave us?” A last place team like the lightning.

  54. mjames says:

    Building a team around a superstar does not get you the cup. Here you have the Habs already going through a rebuilding period and your suggestion is say give them AK46, Higgins, Pleks, Komi and Price for Lecalvier.

    Think about – Do you think that makes real sense. Where would that leave us?


  55. showey47 says:

    Any word if Hamrlik is in the lineup tonight?

  56. showey47 says:

    There is no such thing as a “should be” game, ask the detroit red wings

  57. 24 Cups says:

    The men who fell (back) to earth. Is the Habs mini tailspin a sign that their Cup drought will continue for another year? Probably, although I would see it as more of a reality check than a disappointment or failure.

    I didn’t see Saturday’s rout by the Senators so I didn’t comment on it over the weekend. I would think that the team’s prime directive over these last 26 games now has to be focused on making the playoffs, not finishing first in the conference. I’m not panicking or throwing in the towel, I’m just being realistic.

    The top three seeds on the East will go to division leaders. Assuming that Ottawa wins our division then the best the Habs can do is finish fourth. In a perfect world, I would rather see the team finish SIXTH so they can draw a first round opponent from the SE division. Our chances of beating Carolina, Washington, or Atlanta are a lot better than defeating Philly, Pittsburgh, or Jersey. We would also open on the road which might be beneficial as well. Finishing 7th or 8th would really put us behind the eight ball as we would face a tough opponent right off the bat.

    This week’s games in Florida are cruical and I feel we need to win both of them before we face Philly on the weekend. If our cushion over 8th place gets less than 5 points, then we might find the word ‘slump’ starting to raise it’s ugly head. We don’t need that kind of added pressure after such a great start to the year.

    As for our two whiskey-a-go-go boys, I don’t really see it as a big deal (possible felony charges aside). It’s small potatoes in this day and age of wife beaters, dog killers, and steroid pin cushions. If anything, the boys are guilty of childish and stupid behaviour, not criminal conduct or intent. If this situation ruins our year then we were never the team we thought we were in the first place.

    The Original 24 Cups

  58. HabsInsideOut says:

    Hi, we’re performing some upgrades to this function. In the absence of the feature, you’ll just all have to be extra nice.

  59. nightmare_49 says:

    Well at least they will have something to talk about during the Puckcast with the trade and Tampa’s nightlife.

  60. RC-51 says:

    two very bad losses in a row, and now this? i hope this isnt the begining of their yearly downfall!! GO HABS GO

  61. Xtrahabsfan says:

    I’m still chuckling about all of this,it’s …well…it’s been a quite different day and not just for me.Hey ,maybe O’byrne and Tommie got some Cuban spanish culture while being ON ICE,lol Maybe they can steal the game tomorro,and put it in the BAG!And why didn’t Huey Save them?Choke under pressure again,lol Anywho keep your eye’s on our boy’s tomorro in Tampa”and keep your eye’s on your wallets” I think our Habs are the new Bad Boy’s of Hockey”Cris Simon wants in”

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