Advertisement

Lightning Host Montreal

Cristobal Huet's strong play is one reason why the Montreal Canadiens are challenging for the Northeast Division lead. His latest performance, though, shows they still have a lot of work to do.

Huet and the Canadiens look to rebound from one of their worst games of the season as they continue a three-game road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Montreal -111 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 6 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 60% of bets for this game have been placed on Montreal -111 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

With a chance to pull within one point of Ottawa for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, the Canadiens fell behind 3-0 less than five minutes into the game and lost 6-1 on Saturday.

Huet stopped only one of four shots before he was pulled 4:45 into the opening period. Rookie Carey Price then surrendered three goals on the final 25 shots. Huet was 10-3-1 with a 2.53 goals-against average and one shutout in his previous 14 starts.

It was the second straight loss and third in four games for Montreal (29-18-9), which dropped five points behind the Senators.

"They definitely played a great game,'' Huet said. "We were aware of that and we wanted them to have their best players in the lineup but we didn't compete enough so it was a pretty embarrassing night for us.''

The Canadiens, who haven't lost three straight in regulation all season, allowed a season-high six goals.

"They came out obviously effectively - the first 5 minutes and we were down 3-0,'' captain Saku Koivu said. "It's not the situation we wanted to be in, especially against a team like that.''

With games on consecutive nights, Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau likely will give Price a start either Tuesday or Wednesday against Florida. Huet has won both starts this season against Tampa Bay (23-27-6) while Price played well in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Lightning on Dec. 11.

The Canadiens are 8-2-1 against the Lighting since the start of the 2005-06 season, winning four of their last five visits to Tampa Bay.

Alexei Kovalev, Montreal's leader in goals (25) and points (54), has goals in four straight games against Tampa Bay.

A pair of Canadiens - rookie defenseman Ryan O'Byrne and right wing Thomas Kostopoulos - were arrested outside a Tampa nightclub on Sunday night, but both could play Tuesday. O'Byrne was charged with felony grand theft and released after posting $2,000 bail. Kostopoulos faces a misdemeanor count of resisting an officer without violence and was freed on $500 bail.

"You wish these things didn't happen, but once things happen, trying to go backwards isn't a possibility, so we move ahead,'' Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey said.

Although the Lightning own the worst record in the conference, they are only seven points behind Southeast Division-leading Washington.

Tampa Bay completed a three-game trip Saturday with a 2-1 overtime loss to Atlanta, snapping its six-game road win streak. Vincent Lecavalier scored his 32nd goal for the Lightning, who posted one-goal victories over St. Louis and Nashville on the first two stops on the trip.

"We'll be right there,'' forward Martin St. Louis said. "Everybody is beating everybody."

If the Lightning are going to make a run at a playoff spot, they have to play better at home, where they have won only three of their last 14 games (3-10-1).

Johan Holmqvist had lost his starting job recently to rookie Karri Ramo, but appears to have taken control of the No. 1 role again. Holmqvist is 6-1-1 with a 2.40 GAA in his last nine starts.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from theSpread.com

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NHL Home

Advertisement

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Updated Stanley Cup Odds The NHL Preseason is set to begin in about a month. Here is a look at the latest odds to win the Stanley Cup in 2017.
Thumbnail Datsyuk leaves, Mrazek stays in Detroit After three-time Selke Trophy winner Pavel Datsyuk officially decided to return to Russia, Detroit fans needed a...
Thumbnail Stamkos staying with Tampa The biggest prize in NHL free agency has elected to stay home, as Steven Stamkoshas signed a new deal with the Tampa Bay...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks hope to force a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins close out the Stanley Cup Final tonight when they host the San Jose Sharks in...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Headlines

More inNHL News  

NHL Team Pages