Perry scores late in regulation and Palat wins it in OT as Lightning rally past Habs

·3 min read

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ondrej Palat scored 36 seconds into overtime after Tampa Bay teammate Corey Perry tied it late in the third period, and the Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on Tuesday night in the first NHL game following an extended holiday break.

Perry got the equalizer with 19.7 seconds left in regulation and the Lightning net empty before Palat won it off a pass from Victor Hedman.

It was the first NHL game since the Lightning won 4-3 at Vegas on Dec. 21 in the only game played that night. Dozens more were postponed over the past week-plus as the league turned a Christmas break scheduled to last three days into a six-day hiatus because of COVID-19 outbreaks and protocols.

Tampa Bay had six players and coach Jon Cooper unavailable in COVID-19 protocols. Montreal had nine players in protocols, including starting goalie Jake Allen.

Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde filled in for Cooper for the second consecutive game.

Two more games were slated for later Tuesday night as NHL teams began resuming their schedules.

David Savard stopped a 49-game goal drought to put the Canadiens up 4-3 with 6:51 left in the third. Kale Clague had tied it at 3 for Montreal earlier in the third on his first NHL goal, coming in his 39th career game.

Tampa Bay center Brayden Point had two goals and an assist in his return after missing 14 games with an upper-body injury. The center was hurt Nov. 20 against New Jersey when his left shoulder crashed hard into the end boards.

The Lightning, who have a seven-game home winning streak and are 9-1-1 overall in their last 11 games, also got a goal from Ross Colton. With goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliott both out, Maxime Lagace made 27 saves in his first NHL game since May 8, 2021, with Pittsburgh.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard got a goal in his NHL debut for the Canadiens, who have lost eight of nine (1-6-2). Lukas Vejdemo also scored, and Sam Montembeault turned aside 32 shots.

Point scored during a 2-on-1 at 11:38 of the first and put Tampa Bay up 2-1 just 2:32 later off a nifty pass from Alex Killorn.

Colton gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead at 8:11 of the second just after a Montreal minor penalty expired. The penalty resulted from a failed challenge by Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme. The on-ice call that negated Brendan Gallagher's goal due to incidental goalie interference was upheld after a video review.

Harvey-Pinard tied it at 2 early in the second. Vejdemo scored in his first game of the season 10:46 in.

Corey Schueneman assisted on Harvey-Pinard’s goal for his first point in his NHL debut.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Canadiens: Ducharme said F Paul Byron (offseason hip surgery) “is getting a lot closer” to making his season debut.

Lightning: RW Nikita Kucherov (lower body) missed his 28th game but could be back in the next couple of weeks.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: Play on Thursday night at Carolina.

Lightning: Visit the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Mark Didtler, The Associated Press

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