Lightning drop third straight game, fall to Montreal

"A lot of us, it took a while to get going in this game," St. Louis said. "Individually, we have to give our best from the get-go, know if we do that we are better collectively, and we didn't do that tonight."


A strong point that needs to be addressed collectively before Monday's first place match between the Washington Capitals.


The Lightning did get going in the second period, and they did it as the power-play was expiring. With Lars Eller off for tripping, a rebound from a Pavel Kubina shot bounced right to Dominic Moore, who beat Montreal goalie Carey Price to get the Lightning back within a goal. From there, Montreal would take over, as Max Pacioretty scored twice to extend the Capitals' lead to 4-1 into the third period. Captain Vincent Lecavalier would add a goal with less than six minutes to go in the game, but that is as close as the Lightning would get.


The story line in this one, though, would be the start the Lightning didn't have.


"I'm not surprised, I'm shocked," Head coach Guy Boucher said. "In Boston, we gave everything we had. It was the same thing in New Jersey. Coming back home for the first period, I was very surprised. Our urgency level was very low and theirs was very high. The teams that are chasing us right now seem to have more urgency."


This sets up what can only be characterized as a huge game Monday night against the Washington Capitals. The Lightning are currently clinging to a one-point lead in the Southeast Division, and Washington is in action tomorrow night in South Florida against the Florida Panthers. Basically, this amounts to a battle for first place against a team that beat the Lightning pretty good the last time through Tampa. The Lightning will look to get off to a quick start to make up for Saturday's first-period effort. Game time is at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum.


Follow Mike on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorcoran81

The Tampa Bay Lightning returned home to the St. Pete Times Forum Saturday night in need of a win. The team, coming off a three-game road trip, played well, but had dropped their previous two games in tight contests. With Montreal in town, and their contingent of fans out in force, the Lightning got off to a slow start and dug a hole too deep to recover from, falling to the Canadiens 4-2.

"We got a late start tonight," Lightning forward Marty St. Louis said. "That's the bottom line. You are thrown adversity throughout the year and we are in the middle of it right now. We just have to stick together and rectify the mistakes."

The late start showed in the first, with Montreal jumping out to a quick two-goal lead with goals from offensive Stalwart Hal Gill and David Desharnais in the first half of the first period. From there, it was an uphill battle the rest of the night.

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