St. Louis, Stamkos, Lead Bolts Past Habs

The Dynamic duo of Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis combined for three goals and four assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadians in front of raucous crowd at the St Pete Times Forum. Stamkos (2-2-4) and St Louis (1-2-3) continue to lead the NHL in points by teammates with 107 points combined.

Habs forward Max Pacioretty drew first blood just 58 seconds into the contest and the Canadiens led 1-0 after the first period.

But early in the second, the Habs were called twice for bench minors in a span of 45 seconds for having too many men on the ice. As a result, the Lightning had 75 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play Tampa Bay. From there, St. Louis cashed in for his 16th goal of the season at 2:48 (just 13 seconds after the 5-on-3 advantage began) to tie the game at 1-1.  It was the 10th goal in a row scored by St Louis, Stamkos or Vinnie Lecavalier.

After the St Louis goal tied the game it energized the Bolts forecheck as they took the play to the Habs; which lead to Pavel Kubina banging in a rebound of a St Louis shot for his second goal of the season — and his team record 67th goal amongst defenseman — to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 12:31.

Stamkos scored a spectacular goal on a penalty shot which brought the house to their feet with a spin a rama backhand shot to score his 30th goal of the season past Montreal goaltender Carey Price at 1:46 of the third period to increase the Lightning lead to 3-1. Nearly three minutes later, Stamkos took a pass from Ryan Malone and scored on a wrap around for his 31st goal at 4:40.

Stamkos had been working on the move in practice which he said he always scores on so he decided to finally bring the move out in a game after being 0-for-4 in shootouts this year.

“It takes courage to pull that move off in a game, but it was Steven’s leadership in the third period that I was most impressed,” said Lightning coach Guy Boucher.

After letting in the first goal on the game’s first shot, rookie goaltender Cedrick Desjardins earned his first win of his NHL career as he stopped 27 shots and made 15 saves during the third period.

“I am not surprised that the kid shut the door that’s what he does,” said Boucher about his young goaltender.

The Lightning host the Rangers Saturday night before they leave town on another four-game road trip.

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