Game preview: Lightning @ Canadiens
CANADIENS (9-8-1) vs. LIGHTNING (12-5-0)
The Canadiens go in search of a second consecutive victory when they square off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
On Sunday evening, the Habs snapped a four-game winless streak by handily defeating the New York Islanders 4-2. The Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher line combined for three goals and eight points, while Carey Price made 24 saves.
Gallagher's team-leading eighth goal of the season came when the Edmonton, AB native beat Isles goaltender Kevin Poulin on a partial breakaway. Lars Eller, meanwhile, scored for the first time in 12 games. P.K. Subban added an assist on the play to up his point tally to 17 on the season. The reigning Norris Trophy winner also logged a team-leading 25:34 of ice time over the course of 26 shifts.
If everything goes according to plan, look for Canadiens forward Daniel Briere to return to active duty against the Lightning after being sidelined with a concussion since October 19. Travis Moen has the flu and is listed as day-to-day.
The Lightning had won four games in a row before dropping a 3-0 decision to the Bruins on Monday afternoon. Head coach Jon Cooper’s team is off to a stellar 12-5-0 start and currently lead the atlantic division. Tampa Bay will, however, have to overcome serious leg injuries to Brian Lee (knee, out indefinitely), Mattias Ohlund (knee, out for the season) and Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out indefinitely). The former Rocket Richard Trophy winner crashed into the net during the tilt against the Bruins and was carried off the ice on a stretcher.
Without their leading scorer, the Lightning’s other key forwards will need to step up. Veteran Martin St-Louis has 16 points in 16 games, while Alex Killorn is having a solid sophomore campaign with 12 points during that span. Sami Salo anchors Tampa Bay's defense corps alongside Matt Carle and Victor Hedman. Goaltender Ben Bishop, who is off to a career-best 11-2 start to the season, will likely be in goal for the visitors.
Tuesday’s game will be the first of four this season between the Canadiens and the Lightning. The Habs have won the last four tilts against Tampa Bay dating back to February 2012.