Canadiens 2, Lightning 1
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Martin Rucinsky scored twice in the second period and Jeff Hackett stopped 28 shots as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 Tuesday night.
Rucinsky opened the scoring at 11:16 and added his second goal 2:42 later. Hackett withstood a 14-shot, first-period barrage in winning for the 10th time (10-2-1) in his past 13 starts.
Montreal is 6-2-1 in its last nine games.
The Lightning, who had a modest three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) snapped, got a goal from Benoit Hogue with 6:18 left in the third period. Tampa Bay is now 1-66-6 since the beginning of last season when trailing after two periods.
After Tampa Bay defenseman Jassen Cullimore turned the puck over in the neutral zone, Rucinsky put a shot off the post from the low slot during a 2-on-1, putting Montreal ahead 1-0.
Rucinsky made it 2-0 with his 11th goal at 13:58, scoring on a nifty backhander over Corey Schwab’s glove hand just six seconds after a penalty against Montreal’s Scott Thronton had expired.
Hackett was the single biggest reason the game was scoreless after one period. The Montreal goaltender stopped nine quality chances. The best save came when Hackett slid across the crease and robbed Alex Selivanov from point-blank range.
The Canadiens’ best first-period chance came while shorthanded when Patrick Poulin hit the post.
Montreal right wing Turner Stevenson returned after missing the past 11 games with an ankle injury.
A crowd of only 9,108 showed up for Tuesday night’s game, following the sellout 19,758 that attended Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game.