Game #38

Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay

St. Pete Times Forum-Dec. 29/2011-7:35pm


Game Notes –

…..Dec. 30 last year,  Canadiens lose to Lightning 4-1 in what was the 6th game of a 1-5 seven-game holiday road trip .  Max Pacioretty gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead into the second period.  The Canadiens took back-to-back too-many-men penalties and Martin St. Louis scored to tie it.  The Lightning scored the next three goals; Kubina and Stamkos with two including a penalty shot.  Former Canadiens prospect Cedrick Desjardins got the win.  Carey Price was pulled in favour of Alex Auld for the final 7:50 of the game.  James Wisniewski made his Canadiens debut.

…..In Randy Cunneyworth’s first four games behind the Montreal bench — all losses — the Canadiens scored a total of six goals. They matched that  in 60 minutes against the Senators on Tuesday,

…..In last season’s four meetings between the clubs Max Pacioretty led the Canadiens with 3 goals and Steven Stamkos also had 3 goals (plus three assists) to pace the Lightning.

…..Tampa Bay won last year’s pre-New Year’s meeting 4-1 (Dec.30/10).   It was the Canadiens 8th loss in their previous ten games

…..Tampa Bay goaltender Mathieu Garon was the first star in the 5-1 win over Philadelphia stopping 31 shots —  16 of them in the first period.  Garon has started 14 of Tampa’s last 16 games.

….. Steven Stamkos scored two goals against the Flyers Tuesday and goes into this game with 22, tieing him for the NHL lead with Marian Gaborik of the Rangers. He had 31 by the end of December 2010 en route to tieing Sidney Crosby for the Rocket Richard Trophy with 51 goals,

…..Martin St. Louis has a point in eight of his last nine games against the Canadiens.   Stamkos has five goals and five assists in 12 career games against Montreal.

…..Lars Eller has scored two of the Canadiens’ three shorthanded goals this season including the goal that started the Canadiens comeback in Ottawa..

…..In the last six games in Tampa the Canadiens have won three and lost three.

….. Tampa Bay has played the fewest home games (14) of any team in the NHL.

….The Canadiens were outscored 17-6 during Cunneyworth’s first four games behind the bench. The overall five-game stretch without a point was the longest for Montreal since a five-game streak Oct. 6-17, 2009.

….. Former Canadiens Marc-Andre Bergeron, Dominic Moore, Tom Pyatt and J.T. Wyman are now active with the Lightning along with Hamilton coaches Guy Boucher, Dan Lacroix and Martin Raymond.    Mathieu Darche appeared in 73 games with the Lightning during the 2007-08 season.

…..With four players on injury reserve (Gionta, Gomez, Markov and White) with this game the Canadiens will reach a league leading 187 man-games lost to injury this season.

…..Tampa has injury problems of their own, especially on defence where  Victor Hedman, who is still listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury suffered Tuesday vs. the Flyers.  Mattias Ohlund has yet to appear in any regular season game so far, and Matt Gilroy has missed each of the team’s past four games.   Eric Brewer practiced Wednesday  and showed no negative effects from a second-period fight with Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, other than a black eye.  He will play vs. the Canadiens.

The Cold Hard Stats –

Season Record Canadiens  37GP (14-16-7) 35pts.  12th in Eastern Conference; 5th in Northeast Division  –    Tampa Bay – 35GP (15-17-3) 33pts. – 13th in Eastern Conference; 4th in Southeast Division.

Recently –   Last ten gamesCanadiens   (3-5-2) – Last five (1-4-0) –   Tampa Bay (4-5-1) last ten.  Last 5 (3-1-1)

Season Series – First of four meetings.  Last season Tampa Bay won the first two games.  The Canadiens came back to win the next two, one in a shootout.

Last Time Out – Canadiens defeated Ottawa 6-2 Tuesday in Ottawa.     Tampa Bay beat Philadelphia 5-1 Tuesday at home.

Home/Road – Canadiens on the Road –  (9-9-1)           Tampa Bay at Home – (9-5-0)

Record Vs. Eastern Conference – Canadiens (11-12-3)      Tampa (12-12-2)

Goaltending – Canadiens – Carey Price 32-GP (13-12-7)  2.44GAA  .914save%.       Tampa Bay – Mathieu Garon– 24GP  (9-9-2) 2.75GAA   .906save%.

Special Teams – Power Play- Canadiens ranked 29th – 12.7% (19/150)   Tampa ranked 25th – 14.6% (18/123)      Penalty Killing – Canadiens ranked 3rd  – 88.9%  (16/144)   Tampa ranked 18th – 81.2% (27/144)

Who’s Hot:    Canadiens – Erik Cole has points in six consecutive games.  Tomas Plekanec has two goals and two assists in his past four games.  Raphael Diaz has recorded four assists in his past three games-three of them vs. Ottawa Tuesday.   Tampa Bay – Martin St. Louis  – 1 goal and 3 assists since returning from facial fractures resulting from getting hit by a puck in practice.  Overall, he has a five game points streak (3-3-6).

The Missing –  Canadiens – RW-Brian Gionta (IR-groin) and C-Scott Gomez (IR-groin) ; D- Andrei Markov (IR-arthroscopic kneesurgery); RW-Ryan White (IR-sports hernia surgery); D-Brendon Nash (IR-shoulder surgery).    Tampa Bay – D-Eric Brewer (upper body); D-Victor Hedman (upper body);   C-Nate Thompson (lower body). RW-Ryan Shannon (IR-lower body); . D- Matt Gilroy (lower body); D-Mattias Ohlund (knee) .