Brian Gionta scored his second goal of the game with 47 seconds left in the third period and the Canadiens snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night in Montreal.
Gionta was at the left post to put a rebound off the end boards into an open side for the winner.
Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Canadiens. Richard Panik and Vincent Lecavalier scored for Tampa Bay, which is winless in five and has one victory in its last eight games.
The Canadiens had given up nine goals in the first period of their three previous games, but Carey Price’s goal posts came to the rescue this time as Teddy Purcell, Sami Salo, and Lecavalier all hit the iron in a scoreless opening 20 minutes.
Montreal took the lead 4:04 into the second when Galchenyuk was parked at the edge of the crease to slip in a bouncing pass from Brendan Gallagher. It was the rookie’s sixth goal in his last eight games.
Gionta then redirected a Tomas Plekanec pass behind Ben Bishop after a turnover at the Tampa Bay blue line at 15:05.
The Lightning took advantage of their first power play when Panik made a deft move to take in Victor Hedman’s pass and lift the puck over a sprawled Price at 17:36.
Senators 3, Capitals 1 — Kyle Turris scored twice and host Ottawa ended Washington’s winning streak at eight games.
Islanders 5, Maple Leafs 3 — John Tavares had two goals and an assist as visiting New York rallied past Toronto to move within two points of the Maple Leafs for fifth place in the East.
Rangers 6, Panthers 1 — Rick Nash had a goal and assist in the first period, and Ryan Callahan had a pair of assists as New York hung on to eighth place in the East with a victory over visiting Florida.
Devils 3, Flyers 0 — Martin Brodeur stopped 23 shots for his 121st career shutout, helping to keep New Jersey’s slim playoff hopes alive with a win over host Philadelphia.
Blues 2, Coyotes 1 — Brian Elliott stopped all three chances in a shootout for the second straight game, and host St. Louis slipped by Phoenix to step closer to a playoff berth.
Stars 5, Canucks 1 — Cody Eakin, Jamie Benn, and Ray Whitney scored goals early in the third period to break open a tie game before host Dallas cruised over Vancouver.
Jets 4, Hurricanes 3 — Dustin Byfuglien scored 1:23 into overtime and host Winnipeg beat Carolina for a season-high fifth straight win.
Kings 2, Blue Jackets 1 — Kyle Clifford scored the tiebreaking goal, Jonathan Quick made 20 saves, and host Los Angeles slowed Columbus’s late-season surge.
Sharks 6, Wild 1 — Marty Havlat scored twice against his former team and host San Jose routed Minnesota.