National Hockey League
Montreal 4, Tampa Bay 2
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Referees: Steve Kozari, Jon McIsaac
Linesmen: Jonny Murray, Tony Sericolo
Attendance: 21302

The Montreal Canadiens gained a critical victory in their playoff chase with a 4-2 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

The win brings the Canadiens even on points with the Blue Jackets for the second Eastern Conference wild-card slot. Both teams have 94 points, though Columbus is still ahead on a tiebreaker. Carolina is only a point ahead of Montreal (43-29-8, 94 points) and Columbus for the first wild-card position.

After falling behind twice in the game, Montreal finally took the lead on Artturi Lehkonen's goal 7:47 into the third period. A looping shot from Victor Mete was batted out of the air by Lehkonen, then knocked in on his second attempt for his 11th goal of the season.

Lehkonen also had an assist in the game, while Jordie Benn contributed two assists for the Canadiens.

After amassing 44 shots in Saturday's 3-1 win over Winnipeg, the Canadiens topped that performance by outshooting league-leading Tampa Bay 45-24.

The Lightning (60-16-4, 124 points) were kept in the game by goalie Eddie Pasquale, who stopped 41 of 45 shots. Regular starter Andrei Vasilevskiy played in Monday's 5-2 Lightning win over Ottawa, and backup Louis Domingue was sidelined with a lower-body injury, opening the door for Pasquale's big performance in just his second career NHL start.

Steven Stamkos opened the scoring in unusual fashion 2:28 into the first period. The center's 43rd goal of the season came after Stamkos fired a shot off Max Domi's skate that Domi accidentally deflected into his own net.

After this early concession, the Canadiens dominated the rest of the period, outshooting Tampa Bay 19-7. The pressure included Nate Thompson's game-tying goal at 12:23, marking Thompson's first goal since joining Montreal in a trade on February 11.

The second period followed a similar script. Tampa Bay scored an early goal, with Cedric Paquette finding the net at 4:18 to put the Lightning back ahead.

The Canadiens then equalized once more on a tremendous second-effort goal from Joel Armia 7:32 into the period. Armia's initial chance was stopped, and he whiffed on a rebound attempt, though he kept control of the puck. Armia then fired a well-placed shot from behind the goal line that banked in off Pasquale.

After Lehkonen's go-ahead goal, Domi extended Montreal's lead with a score midway through the third period.

Carey Price saved 22 of 24 shots. Price is 7-3-1 with a 1.92 goals-against average over his last 11 starts, and he has appeared in 27 of the Canadiens' last 28 games.

Montreal improved to 6-1-1 in its last eight games.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Tampa Bay   Montreal
Cedric Paquette 1 Points Artturi Lehkonen 2
Cedric Paquette 1 Goals Artturi Lehkonen 1
Erik Cernak 1 Assists Jordie Benn 2
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Edward Pasquale .911 Save Percentage Carey Price .917
Edward Pasquale 41 Saves Carey Price 22
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Tampa Bay 24 2 0-0 2-2 6 22
Montreal 45 4 0-2 0-0 2 35
Upcoming Games
  • Montreal will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Canadiens have a W/L % of .452 after a win and .632 after a loss.
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game on the road against Toronto. The Lightning have a W/L % of .705 after a win and .895 after a loss.