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Lightning-Canadiens Preview

Players from the Montreal Canadiens celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning following Stanley Cup hockey playoff game in Montreal, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes) Photo:

Players from the Montreal Canadiens celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning following Stanley Cup hockey playoff game in Montreal, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

Ben Scrivens toiled in the minors through the first three months of the season wondering when he'd get his next chance in the NHL, and he didn't exactly impress the Montreal Canadiens when they acquired him at the end of December.

His performances over the weekend helped him regain his confidence.

Scrivens will make his third straight start for the suddenly surging Canadiens as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Reigning Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price hasn't played since Nov. 25 because of a lower-body injury, and Montreal (26-24-4) has since tumbled down the Eastern Conference standings while working mainly with rookie Mike Condon in net.

The Canadiens acquired Scrivens from Edmonton on Dec. 28, and he lost his first four starts with a 3.84 goals-against average. He started against his former team Saturday, though, and made 23 saves in a 5-1 victory that snapped Montreal's four-game skid.

Scrivens was fantastic again Sunday, stopping 33 shots through overtime and all five in the shootout for a 2-1 win over Carolina.

"Obviously it's nice to get two wins whether you're playing or not, but having a bit of ownership definitely makes it sweeter," Scrivens said. "The biggest thing is that we got the four points that we desperately needed. Now we have to focus on the next one."

Scrivens will be in net again as the Canadiens try to win three straight for the first time since a four-game run Nov. 20-27. Defenseman P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist against the Oilers then assisted on Max Pacioretty's goal against the Hurricanes.

Montreal, which won its first nine games of the season, sits in 11th place in the East, four points behind the New York Islanders for the last wild-card spot.

"It's a step in the right direction, and obviously we want to build on it," Subban said. "Everybody should feel good about their game and themselves. It's important that spirits are up, and now we'll continue taking things one game at a time."

Subban had an assist in Montreal's 4-3 shootout victory in the first meeting Dec. 28 and will try to help deal the Lightning (29-19-4) back-to-back losses for the first time since Dec. 28 and 30.

Tampa has been one of the NHL's hottest teams and had won nine of its previous 10 before falling 5-1 at Ottawa on Monday. J.T. Brown scored in the first period and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves in place of Ben Bishop.

The Lightning averaged 3.5 goals during their hot stretch, but they came up empty on three power-play opportunities against the Senators after scoring with the man advantage in each of their previous five.

Tampa failed to move into sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division and remained six points behind first-place Florida.

"This has to be a page-turner, because now we've got Montreal who's won a couple and feeling good about themselves and we're not," coach Jon Cooper said. "You're not always encouraged about playing back-to-back, but I'm glad we get to jump right back at it (Tuesday) night."

Bishop will be back in net for this one. He has a 1.76 GAA over his last six starts and made 31 saves in the first meeting with the Canadiens.

Scrivens has a 2.70 GAA in five career starts against the Lightning.

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