TAMPA -- Tampa Bay took forever to start, but Montreal never could finish.
Each got at least a point in the standings to soothe some recent woes, but the Canadiens got the 4-3 win in a shootout Tuesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
A Sami Salo goal that bounced off a defenseman and trickled in tied the game 3-3 with 43 seconds left in a furious late rush for the Lightning.
Victor Hedman's third and fourth goals of the season, with 5:56 and 1:43 to go, respectively, gave Tampa Bay a chance. The Lightning had lost four straight in regulation, and Montreal had been winless in three consecutive games.
Montreal dominated the overtime and was denied when Anders Lindback made a toe save of a close chance from David Desharnais.
Desharnais scored for Montreal in the shootout, and Canadiens goalie Carey Price stopped all three Lightning attempts to seal the win. Steven Stamkos was denied as the final skater.
P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist, and Lars Eller had two assists for Montreal.
The Canadiens controlled play in the first period as Tampa Bay was whistled for five penalties. The costliest penalty came in the final two minutes when Victor Hedman was called for roughing after losing his stick on defense, giving the Canadiens a 5-on-3 opportunity that finally led to the first goal.
Brian Gionta gave Montreal a 1-0 lead with 42 seconds remaining in the period when he tapped in a brisk cross-crease pass from Tomas Plekanec past a defenseless Lindback. The goal was Gionta's third of the season.
The Canadiens had just one first-period penalty kill for 43 seconds. Tampa Bay had failed on 15 consecutive man-advantages Salo's goal late in regulation.
Montreal continued to control the sluggish Lightning in the second period, dominating the neutral zone, shutting off passing lanes that Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis had exploited during a five-game home winning streak to start the season. Neither four Montreal penalties nor B.J. Crombeen's fight with the Canadiens' Travis Moen could spur Tampa Bay.
Montreal took a 2-0 lead with 11:39 left in the middle period as Subban ripped his third goal of the season from the blue line through a screen. The Canadiens' grinders improved the margin to 3-0 against a line including St. Louis, Stamkos and Hedman with 1:06 left in the period when Moen was credited with his first goal of the season by poking the puck while tussling for position in the crease with defenseman Eric Brewer.
Montreal broke a three-game losing streak coming off a demoralizing 6-0 shellacking by Toronto, while the Lightning lost for the fifth straight time to negate its torrid start to the season.
NOTES: The Lightning's game in Boston that was postponed last week because of a winter storm was rescheduled for April 25. ... The Lightning power play entered the game 0 for its last 10, but still led the league at 44 percent. ... Montreal had lost three straight (one via shootout). Tampa Bay had lost four straight. ... St. Louis entered Tuesday's game tied for the league lead with 13 assists. ... Tampa Bay scored 37 goals in its first seven games but just six in its last four before Tuesday. ... St. Louis entered having not scored in his last nine games, Stamkos in three straight. ... Right wing Richard Panik, a second-round pick in the 2009 draft who had 21 goals in 43 games for Syracuse, made his Lightning debut. He was recalled on Monday after Ryan Malone was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury that may cost him 3-4 weeks. ... Coach Michel Therrien altered his top line of Max Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole. Pacioretty was paired with rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. Cole and Desharnais were linked with Brandon Prust. ... Gionta's goal was his first in nine games. ... Subban has at least a point in five of six games played this season. ... Tampa Bay had snuffed all three 5-on-3 penalty kills it faced this season before Tuesday.