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Tampa Bay Lightning
Montréal
Canadiens
42-34-6
Tampa Bay
Lightning
44-33-5

28 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MTL
TBL
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Canadiens-Lightning Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Canadiens-Lightning Preview
Montréal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Led by the red-hot duo of Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, the Tampa Bay Lightning have shaken their early season slump.

St. Louis and Lecavalier each look to extend 11-game point streaks and help the Lightning to their fourth straight win when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Since their losing streak reached three with a 4-2 home defeat to Toronto on Nov. 1, the Lightning have won four of five behind an improved offense.

Lecavalier scored once and St. Louis added two assists as Tampa Bay (9-7-1) jumped out to a four-goal lead and held on for a 5-3 victory over Southeast Division-leading Atlanta on Saturday.

The win followed a 3-0-1 road trip and ended a two-game home losing skid for the Lightning, who have scored 24 goals in the past five contests.

"We've done the job on the road, but we have to start taking care of business in our building," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We're making steps in the right direction."

After scoring 12 goals in its first six games of the season, Tampa Bay has 47 in the past 11.

Leading the way is St. Louis, who has 10 goals and 10 assists during his streak, while Lecavalier is right behind with eight goals and 10 assists in his 11-game run. The franchise record for registering a point in consecutive games is 13, set by Brian Bradley in 1992 and matched by St. Louis in 2004 and Vinny Prospal in 2005.

"We're starting to find our identity and playing together," St. Louis said. "We're scoring goals. In this league, you score four, five goals a game, you find yourself on the winning end most nights."

Marc Denis entered this season as Tampa Bay's No. 1 goaltender, but has apparently been unseated by Johan Holmqvist, who has allowed nine goals while winning four straight starts. Denis, meanwhile, has surrendered 16 goals in his past four appearances (0-2-1).

Holmqvist has never faced the Canadiens, while Denis is 2-1 with a tie and 2.20 goals-against average in four starts against them.

Montreal (9-4-3) scored four third-period goals and kept alive its streak of not losing consecutive games this season with a 6-3 victory at Ottawa on Monday.

Rookie Guillaume Latendresse continued his impressive play with power-play goals 31 seconds apart in the final period and Cristobal Huet stopped a season-high 36 shots to lead the Canadiens.

Latendresse has three goals and four points in three games since joining Saku Koivu and Michael Ryder on Montreal's top line, taking the place of injured left wing Chris Higgins. The 19-year-old Latendresse had no points in his first 13 contests.

"Sure, it's a good feeling for me but I think playing with Saku and Michael Ryder has helped me a lot in my game," Latendresse said. "Saku, on my first goal, made an amazing pass to me and I think we have good chemistry. I'm trying to do my best, not to replace Higgins, he's irreplaceable, but to try and help the team."

The Canadiens won three of four against the Lightning last season, including both meetings at Tampa.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 02 '07 TBL 2 at MTL 5 T. Plekanec
Dec 30 '06 MTL 1 at TBL 3 V. Prospal
Dec 14 '06 TBL 2 at MTL 4 S. Koivu
Nov 15 '06 MTL 3 at TBL 1 S. Souray