The Tampa Bay Lightning look to snap their season-high, four-game winless streak, while the Montreal Canadiens try to extend their unbeaten run to a season high-tying three games when the teams meet for the first time this season.
Tampa Bay lost 2-1 on the road to the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday to fall to 0-2-2 in its last four games. During the winless run, the Lightning have scored just three goals.
“I don’t think there’s any reason for us to push the panic button,” Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk said. “We have to keep trying to put the puck in the net.”
Against the Thrashers, the Lightning were called for too many men at 13:19 of the third period, leading to Atlanta’s game-winning power-play goal.
In a 2-2 tie with the St. Louis Blues on Friday, Tampa Bay blew a 2-0 lead heading into the final period.
“Not acceptable,” Tampa Bay center Brad Richards said. “Too many men on the ice, then they go down and score and win the game. It’s a mental breakdown … and it’s two games in a row.”
Montreal beat the Washington Capitals 5-3 on Friday, and then skated to a 1-1 tie with the Florida Panthers on Saturday to go unbeaten in two straight games. The Canadiens haven’t gone undefeated in three in a row since Oct. 11-16.
The Canadiens also blew a late lead Saturday as the Panthers tied the game on a power-play goal with just 1:11 left in the third period.
Montreal goalie Jose Theodore continued his strong play with 23 saves. He is tied for the league lead with four shutouts and has allowed one goal or less in six of his eight wins, but he was not happy after the tie.
“We should have the two points,” Theodore said. “We had the win and we lost it in the final minute.”
STANDINGS (through Nov. 30): Lightning - 27 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Southeast Division. Canadiens - 23 points, 4th place (tied), 8 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Cory Stillman, 10 goals; Martin St. Louis, 13 assists and 18 points; Chris Dingman, 46 PIM. Canadiens - Sheldon Souray, 8 goals; Mike Ribeiro, 12 assists and 15 points; Craig Rivet, 36 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 30): Lightning - Power play: 15.0 percent (15 for 100), 18th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.5 percent (70 for 80), 4th. Canadiens - Power play: 13.4 percent (13 for 97), 24th. Penalty killing: 77.5 percent (69 for 89), 29th.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Lightning, 3-0-1.
LAST MEETING: April 2; Lightning, 2-1. At Tampa, Fla., Khabibulin made 26 saves to extend his career-best unbeaten streak to 16 games, and St. Louis recorded his career-high 70th point by setting up the winning goal by Cory Sarich in the second period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 3-2-2-0 on the road; Canadiens - 5-6-2-0 at home.