Lightning bounce back, beat Canadiens 4-1 behind goalie's debut

The Lightning would get a huge, game-changing break early in the second period when the Montreal took two consecutive penalties for too many men on the ice in a span of 45 seconds to put the Lightning on a 5-3 power-play, something that they had no trouble converting. Marty St. Louis scored his 16th goal of the year to tie the game at 1. The Lightning would get their first lead of the night when Pavel Kubina scored his second goal of the year. The goal at 12:31 was significant in that Kubina overtook former Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle with the most goals in Lightning team history as a defenseman.

Into the third, with the Lightning clinging to a one-goal lead , Steven Stamkos was hooked as he went in alone on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot. With little success in previous attempts in shootouts, Stamkos went to his inner Linus Omark and whipped out the spin-o-rama to beat Montreal goalie Carey Price for his 30th goal of the year.

Stamkos was not done there, however. With the Lightning continuing to attack, he was able to pick up a puck at the side of the net, and convert on a wraparound on an unaware Carey Price at the 4:40 mark of the 3rd period to essentially ice the game. For Stamkos, his 31st goal was his 4th point of the night.

The story in this game, however, would be the goaltending of Cedrick Desjardins, and his first win against the franchise he grew up with.

For Guy Boucher, it was the perfect time to give Desjardins the shot.

“That was the right time because our streak was over." Boucher said. "The problem is that it was the Canadiens. People think I put him in because it was the Canadiens. It’s the opposite. I almost didn’t put him in because it was the Canadiens. When you play your first NHL game, your nerves are aloof and it’s very difficult to manage for everybody. I wanted to make sure to give him the best opportunity to focus on the task and make sure his activation doesn’t become anxiety and stress.”

For Desjardins, it was all about staying focused.

"I wasn’t really thinking about too much." Desjardins said. "I was just focused on the job I had to do. I didn’t have the start I expected, but from there I stayed humble and just tried to do my job, and that’s what happened all night.”

And Desjardins accomplished that in a big way Thursday night.

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Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Cedrick Desjardins grew up in the Montreal 0rganization. On Thursday night, he had the chance to play his first career NHL game against Montreal, and he did not disappoint, leading his team to a 4-1 victory over the Habs.

It was not all smooth sailing for Desjardins, as he gave up a goal on the first shot he faced, on a broken play. But he was able to shut the door from there, stopping the rest of the 27 shots he faced to earn his first career NHL start.

After the quick start by Montreal, where they dominated the first seven minutes of play, the Lightning settled down and got back to playing Lightning hockey. At the end of the first, the Lightning took an 8-6 shot advantage to the dressing room, and their strong play would carry over into the second.

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