TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves to beat Montreal for the 11th consecutive time, Brayden Point had two goals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Canadiens 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Vasilevskiy is the third goaltender in NHL history to earn a victory in 11 consecutive regular-season games against Montreal. Ottawa's Alec Connell (Feb. 28, 1925-Feb. 22, 1927) and Toronto's Turk Broda (Dec. 9, 1939-Jan. 23, 1941) both had 12-game streaks.
Vasilevskiy is 14-1-2 overall in games against the Canadiens.
Point has 13 goals in his last 13 games. The centre has a goal in six consecutive home games, which is one shy of tying Nikita Kucherov’s franchise record.
Montreal played five rookie defencemen in a game for the first time in team history. The last NHL team to do it was the Philadelphia Flyers on Apr. 5, 2007.
Point made it 3-0 at the 16-minute mark of the second when he skated in from the neutral zone and made several nifty moves to elude four defenders before scoring from the low slot.
Vasilevskiy turned aside Cole Caufield's power-play backhander from close range in the second. Caufield also hit the post in the period.
Killorn and Point, off a pass from Kucherov, had first-period goals.
Kucherov reached 50 points in 33 games with the assist, tying Vincent Lecavalier (2007-08) for the fewest games to reach the mark in team history.
Hagel scored in the third.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos remained three away from becoming the 47th NHL player to reach 500 goals. He has gone five straight games without a score.
Montreal’s NHL-worse power play went 0 for 5. The Canadiens have converted two chances in 37 tries over their last 11 games. … Tampa Bay scored on its only man-advantage opportunity.
Canadiens: RW Brendan Gallagher (lower body) took part in the morning skate. … C Sean Monahan (upper body) has resumed skating. … LW Paul Byron (hip) has had some improvement over the last two weeks but is not yet skating.
Canadiens: Play Thursday at Florida.
Lightning: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday.
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Mark Didtler, The Associated Press