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Playoff Implications Await In Bolts, Habs Matchup

Monday, 03.31.2014 / 4:51 PM

Missy Zielinski - Lightning Beat Reporter

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Playoff Implications Await In Bolts, Habs Matchup
Montréal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

CANADIENS (43-26-7, 93 points) vs. LIGHTNING (41-25-9, 91 points)


Fox Sports Florida, RDS; AM 970 WFLA

Last 10: Montreal 8-2-0; Tampa Bay 7-1-2

Season Series:

Tampa Bay and Montreal meet for the fourth and final time Tuesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. All three prior games have been decided by a score of 2-1 in extra time with the Lightning owning a 2-0-1 record versus their division foes.

Big Story:

The Lightning can clinch a postseason berth with a win of any kind against the Canadiens and a Washington Capitals regulation loss.

Team Scope:

LIGHTNING – The Bolts wrapped up their last set of road back-to-backs by going 1-1 versus Atlantic Division rivals the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings Saturday and Sunday. The two games showed that the Lightning still have some cleaning up to do as they came out of the gate flat during the weekend matchups.

Now a six-game homestand that is filled with various teams vying for positioning in the postseason, including their first opponent in the Habs, awaits Tampa Bay. The Lightning and Canadiens have been neck-and-neck over the last leg of the regular season schedule. A Bolts' regulation win would tie them for points with Montreal in the standings, while still holding a game in hand.

CANADIENS – Montreal is taking the game-by-game approach, as stressed by head coach Michel Therrien, though the contest versus the Lightning has implications of the opening round of the playoffs. With the opportunity to pick up their season-high sixth straight win, the Habs do not feel there is any reason to deviate from that mentality now.

In their most recent victory the Canadiens jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Florida Panthers before winning, 4-1. Max Pacioretty tallied two, while newly acquired Thomas Vanek and Brad Boyes also had goals.

Tomas Plekanec will re-join the Habs' lineup Tuesday. The forward missed the Canadiens' last game Saturday (personal).

Who's Hot:

Forward Valtteri Filppula continues to cruise with points in 12 straight games (five goals, 11 assists). The point streak is a career-high, while his 25th goal of the season Sunday is also a career-best. The 12-game point streak is the Bolts' longest streak since Steven Stamkos' 18-game point streak during the 2009-10 season.

Another deal on deadline day, Vanek, has been a nice addition to the Canadiens roster. Since joining the team he has 11 points. Pacioretty also has 11 points in his past 10 games.


Tyler Johnson is one goal shy of tying Stamkos' Lightning rookie record of 23 goals in a season set during the 2008-09 season. Defenseman Sami Salo, who collected a goal last game and also netted the game-winning shootout goal in the 13th round Thursday, is one marker shy of 100 in his NHL career.

Injury Report:

Lightning – D Brian Lee (knee, out); Canadiens – D Josh Gorges (hand), F Travis Moen (upper body), F Brandon Prust (upper body), F Dale Wesie (upper body)

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 01 '14 MTL 1 at TBL 3 T. Johnson
Feb 01 '14 TBL 2 at MTL 1 - OT N. Thompson
Dec 28 '13 MTL 2 at TBL 1 - SO L. Eller
Nov 12 '13 TBL 2 at MTL 1 - SO V. Filppula
T. Vanek73273764+44484
M. Pacioretty68351954+5351010
P. Subban77104353+07941
D. Desharnais74153449+82432
A. Markov7763642+93421
T. Plekanec76202141+113435
B. Gallagher76192140+47180
B. Gionta76152136-12221
A. Galchenyuk62121729-132032
D. Briere64131225-22641
L. Eller75111223-186823
R. Bourque599615-43032
D. Weise5851015+25911
A. Emelin5531215-55310
M. Bournival556713-61811
B. Prust526713-112103
J. Gorges6311213+71200
T. Moen6521012+24900
R. Diaz4601111-41200
M. Weaver6701010-42900
R. White47235-74801
F. Bouillon48145-102301
D. Murray52022-122700
N. Beaulieu16022+5800
G. Parros20011-56800
J. Tinordi19000-23300
L. Leblanc8000+1400
M. Blunden6000-2500
P. Holland5000+0000
G. Dumont2000+0000
C. Thomas2000-1000
M. St Pierre1000+0000
J. Nattinen1000+0000
C. Price5632-19-512917202.36.925
P. Budaj229-8-2495442.41.910
D. Tokarski32-0-05931.84.946
M. St. Louis62293261+12695
V. Filppula71253257+62062
O. Palat76193453+282012
V. Hedman69123749+45132
T. Johnson76232548+202454
T. Purcell76123042-11434
A. Killorn76172340+95932
S. Stamkos31231336+101885
R. Callahan59171835+12473
M. Carle7622830+152410
R. Gudas6731821+214211
J. Brown5741519-7600
N. Kucherov469918+31233
S. Salo6741317+111600
N. Thompson759615+22701
R. Malone555914-66100
E. Brewer7111314+75700
R. Panik462911-111500
M. Barberio485510+122810
B. Crombeen533710+07901
M. Kostka25448+6801
T. Pyatt24347+0401
A. Sustr38077+41200
J. Cote19044+02200
B. Connolly11101-5401
K. Aulie14011-2900
D. Korobov3011+0200
P. Labrie13000-42000
D. Tyrell7000+0400
M. Taormina7000+0000
V. Namestnikov4000-1400
B. Bishop6037-12-712517032.16.927
A. Lindback205-12-2615013.26.878
C. Desjardins10-1-02136.67.846