Lightning stay perfect in shootouts, defeat Habs

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Victor Hedman scored the deciding goal in the top of the sixth round of the shootout as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the visiting Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Saturday night.

With the shootout tied 1-1 on goals by Montreal’s Cole Caufield and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Hedman skated in on goaltender Cayden Primeau (27 saves) and tallied off the left post.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 28 shots, then made a blocker save on Joshua Roy as the Lightning broke a two-game losing streak and moved to 3-0 in shootouts this season.

Brayden Point scored to extend his season-long point streak to nine games (seven goals, four assists), and Anthony Cirelli and Tyler Motte each added a goal as Tampa Bay moved to 7-2-1 when tied after two periods.

The Lightning are 10-0-1 in their past 11 home matches against the Habs.

Montreal’s Joel Armia, Jake Evans and Josh Anderson scored for Montreal. Juraj Slafkovsky, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft, skated in his 100th NHL game, posted two shots and was minus-2.

Montreal took an early 1-0 lead when Armia led a two-on-one rush just over a minute into the third meeting between the Atlantic Division foes.

Armia slid a cross-ice pass to Kaiden Guhle, who immediately returned the feed to set up Armia one-on-one against Vasilevskiy.

The second-line right wing then zipped his 11th goal past the netminder on the glove side just 87 seconds in.

Throughout the period, Montreal was more comfortable in its game and pushed harder in the offensive end, which paid off at 14:33 when some hard work by Brendan Gallagher produced a 2-0 lead.

Gallagher stripped defenseman Darren Raddysh of the puck in the corner and whipped a pass in front of the crease that Evans chipped in for his fifth marker.

In the second period, just after Stamkos drilled the left post on a rush at the seven-minute mark, the Lightning scored on their best possession when Stamkos slipped a diagonal pass to Point for his 32nd goal at 7:44.

Tampa Bay got the equalizer at 15:49 when Brandon Hagel found Cirelli for his 13th marker, and his first in eight games.

After being outshot 13-6 in the second period, Montreal went up 3-2 when Anderson scored his eighth of the season at 6:23 of the third.

However, Motte’s steal and short-handed breakaway goal, his sixth marker, knotted it at 3-all at 10:18.