Lightning edge Canadiens 2-1 in OT
MONTREAL (AP) - Nate Thompson scored twice, including the winner at 4:36 of overtime, to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday afternoon.
Ben Bishop stopped 28 shots for Tampa Bay, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Daniel Briere scored for Montreal. Carey Price made 34 saves.
Thompson scored the clincher when Alex Killorn found him all alone in from of Price.
The Lightning have a five-point advantage over the Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.
After the Lightning took a 1-0 lead in the second period, Briere tied it at 7:25 of the third, taking a cross-ice pass from captain Brian Gionta and firing home his ninth of the season over Bishop's shoulder. The goal was Briere's second in as many games.
Thompson was credited with the game's first goal, at 5:58 of the second, after defenseman P.K. Subban put the puck in his own net.
With Killorn in the penalty box for interference, Thompson skated into the Canadiens' zone and sent an innocent-looking pass in the direction of the net. Subban deflected the puck between Price's legs to give Tampa Bay the lead on a short-handed goal.
The Bolts tested Price early on, benefiting from a penalty shot at 4:41 of the first when rookie defenseman Nathan Beaulieu hooked Nikita Kucherov on a breakaway.
Kucherov tried beating Price under the blocker, but the Canadiens goalie got the better of him.
Sparks flew late in the second when Brandon Prust and Bishop shared a few words and exchanged punches during a TV timeout.
Prust approached Bishop, who took offense at his comments and swung at the Montreal forward's head. Prust answered with a couple of jabs of his own before referees separated them.
All players on the ice got involved in the scrum. Five players were penalized on the play, including Price for leaving his goaltender crease. Bishop and Prust each got a minor penalty.
Tampa Bay survived a late-game penalty before the game was sent to overtime.
Christian Thomas, called up from the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs on Thursday, made only his second career NHL appearance, and first for the Canadiens. His father Steve, an assistant coach for Tampa Bay, was behind the Lightning bench.
The Habs and Lightning go head to head for the fourth and final time this season on April 1, in Tampa, Fla.
Notes: The Canadiens have killed off 22 straight penalties. ... Michael Bournvial was out with the flu. ... Tampa center Valtteri Filppula, who scored the shootout winner in the Lightning's previous visit to Montreal in November, missed the game with a lower-body injury. ... Lightning forward and Olympic hopeful Steven Stamkos, still not game-ready, practiced with his team on Friday, taking light contact from his teammates. Stamkos underwent surgery on Nov. 12 to repair a fractured tibia in his right leg.