Gionta's late goal gives Canadiens win over Lightning
Brian Gionta scored his second goal of the game with 47 seconds left in the game and the Montreal Canadiens snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
Gionta was at the left post to put a rebound off the end boards into an open side for the winner.
Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Canadiens, who had been outscored 18-8 in their three previous outings. Montreal swept their three-game season series with the Lightning.
It was Montreal's first win since clinching a playoff spot last week.
The Canadiens had given up nine goals in the first period of their three previous games, but Carey Price's goal posts came to the rescue this time as Teddy Purcell, Sami Salo and Lecavalier all hit the iron in a scoreless opening 20 minutes.
Montreal took the lead 4:04 into the second when Galchenyuk was parked at the edge of the crease to slip in a bouncing pass from Brendan Gallagher. It was the rookie's sixth goal in his last eight games.
The Lightning took advantage of their first power play when Panik made a deft move to take in Victor Hedman's pass and lift the puck over a sprawled Price at 17:36.
Lecavalier tied it 5:07 into the third when Hedman's shot deflected off some skates in front and left a wide opening for the Tampa Bay captain to score his 10th of the season.
Salo left early in the second period with an upper body injury and did not return.
NOTES: Brandon Prust sat out and Michael Ryder returned to the lineup for Montreal. ... The Canadiens returned rookie Nathan Beaulieu to AHL Hamilton, fueling speculation that Raphael Diaz is getting close to returning from a concussion. ... Tom Pyatt was scratched for Tampa Bay.