Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick & Prediction MARCH 18th 2023

Stadium: Amalie Arena Tampa
Logo Montreal Canadiens
Logo Tampa Bay Lightning

6.5o -125
-1.5 -118



The Montreal Canadiens will be looking for a few things to show up in their play when they travel up Florida's Gulf Coast to play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night -- a short memory and the ability to bounce back.

Stung by a 9-5 throttling by the Florida Panthers in a very forgettable Thursday night in south Florida, Montreal (27-36-6, 60 points) surrendered seven goals in the match's opening 13:18 and saw goaltenders Sam Montembeault and Jake Allen tag in and out as the home side scored on nine of 42 shots.

Starting in goal and returning to finish the blowout, Montembeault made 21 saves on 24 shots. In his stint of 21:29, Allen let in six goals on 18 shots.

The Panthers became the first club to score seven times in the first period since the Hartford Whalers beat Montreal 11-6 on Oct. 19, 1985.

"We gave up way too many chances the whole game," said Montreal captain Nick Suzuki. "Against a team like that, with the offensive players they have, they're going to score.

"It felt like we were playing shinny hockey in the summer and they were playing to make a playoff spot. So it's pretty unacceptable from us."

The Habs got a goal and an assist each from Mike Matheson and Anthony Richard. Michael Pezzetta, Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Rem Pitlick found the net, but the Canadiens lost for the eighth time in nine games (1-6-2) -- in epic fashion, no less.

"There's nothing we can do about it," said Pitlick, who tallied on the power play. "I thought we made some push-back, too. (Coach) Marty (St. Louis) kind of left us as a group in between periods, and some things were said. I did think that we made some pushes."

The Lightning (41-22-6, 88 points) had to push to the end, hung on in overtime and saw Alex Killorn ring home the game-deciding goal in the shootout's bottom of the third round of a 4-3 win at the New Jersey Devils.

In a critical third period with the game knotted at 2-2, Tampa Bay killed off a full two-minute, five-on-three Devils power play. Steven Stamkos then exited the penalty box and scored the go-ahead goal with less than five minutes to play.

New Jersey's Timo Meier did tie it over two minutes later with his second tally of the match, but the enormous effort on the penalty kill and the 29th marker by Stamkos -- who had two goals and an assist -- put the visitors in position to win.

"I think the turning point was the penalty kill for us, the five-on-three," said defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, who dealt out two assists. "(Defensively), we were on the inside. We didn't let them do much. They were shooting from the outside."

In two victories this season, the defending Eastern Conference champions have a 9-2 scoring advantage over the Habs.

--Field Level Media

Montreal Canadiens
Tampa Bay Lightning

Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy posted his third shutout of the season, Victor Hedman tallied twice and the Lightning earned a season-series sweep of the visiting Montreal Canadiens in a 4-0 win on Thursday night.

Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots to earn his 21st career shutout, adding to his franchise record. Hedman scored at even strength and on the power play.

Nikita Kucherov recorded a goal and an assist -- giving him points in 20 of his past 21 games -- and Alex Killorn notched his career-high 25th goal. Kevin Shattenkirk produced his 300th career assist.

Montreal was blanked for the first time this season while falling for the third time in five games.

The Lightning, who won for the second time in three games, went 4-0-0 against the Canadiens this season. They last swept the season series from Montreal in 2014-15 with a 5-0-0 mark before beating the Canadiens in a six-game playoff series that spring.

Tampa Bay also beat the Canadiens for the ninth time in 10 games overall and the sixth consecutive time on home ice, where Tampa Bay is 22-10-2 this season. The Lightning closed their season-high homestand with a 2-3-0 mark.

Montreal goalie Carey Price played for the 13th time in the past 14 games and stopped 19 of 23 shots. The Canadiens scratched their top two goal-scorers -- Tomas Tatar (upper body) and Brendan Gallagher (illness).

Hedman found the net on the Lightning's first shot. The defenseman took a pass from Kucherov and buried his 10th goal from the slot, slipping the shot between Price's pads just 49 seconds in.

The tally marked the seventh consecutive season the 29-year-old has scored double figures in goals.

Anthony Cirelli started a two-on-one rush by making a strong defensive play to chip the puck off the boards and out into the neutral zone, and Killorn finished the odd-man break by wiring a shot for a 2-0 lead at 12:40 of the opening period.

Kucherov grabbed his second point when he swatted in a pass from Pat Maroon as the second period was winding down. His team-leading 32nd put the home side ahead 3-0 with 65 seconds remaining before the second intermission.

After the Canadiens' Ben Chiarot earned a roughing penalty to end the frame, a heated fight broke out between defensemen Shea Weber of Montreal and Mikhail Sergachev of Tampa Bay, with Sergachev -- a 2016 first-round pick by the Canadiens -- taking down Weber.

Hedman scored the final goal on the man advantage at 18:57 of the third.

--Field Level Media