Canadiens captain Brian Gionta arrives to congratulate teammate Hal Gill on the latter’s first-period goal.
Scott Audette, NHLI via Getty Images
• At a Glance: The Canadiens extended their win streak to four games Saturday night, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 before a typically buoyant Habs-friendly crowd in south Florida. Sniper Hal Gill, who had gone 99 games without a goal before scoring Thursday in Montreal’s 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers, hit the net for the second straight match to get the Habs on the board at 5:27, his slapper beating Tampa goalie Dwayne Roloson. It was just the second time in Gill’s career that he had goals in consecutive games, the first time coming Oct. 21 and 24, 2002 when he was with the Boston Bruins. David Desharnais put the visitors up 2-0 about three minutes later on the power play, but the Lightning got that back 85 seconds into the second with an extra man, Lars Eller off for tripping, when former Canadien Dominic Moore beat Habs goalie Carey Price in a scramble. Max Pacioretty gave the Habs a two-goal edge again, with yet another PP goal, at 14:05. Pacioretty scored his second of the night, his 14th on the season, on a one-timer off a fine feed by Scott Gomez at 1:18 of the third. Vincent Lecavalier banged home Tampa’s second on a Canadiens turnover, generated by Moore, at 14:07.
• Keys To The Win: The Canadiens’ successful kill of an 88-second 5-on-3 Lightning power play in the third period and Price’s typically stellar goalkeeping, a 43-save performance.
• What It Means: The Habs enjoyed a perfect 3-0 road trip to Atlanta, and Sunrise and Tampa, Fla. Their record stands at 36-23-7 for 79 points. The win has the sixth-place Canadiens seven points ahead of No. 7 New York Rangers in the East and kept them in the hunt for first in the Northeast Division heading
into Tuesday’s Bell Centre game against the division-leading Boston Bruins, who
lost in overtime to Pittsburgh. The Bruins are five points up on the Habs with a game in hand.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens were to fly home immediately after the game. They’ll face the Bruins on Tuesday, for the first time since the gong show of their last meeting in Boston – an 8-6, penalty-filled Habs loss. Then they head back on the road for a game Thursday in St. Louis and Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh.