(Montreal) The Canadiens defeated one of their pet peeves on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Kirby Dach scored on his return, Nick Suzuki had two assists and the Montreal club defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2.
The Habs had lost their first three games of the campaign against the Lightning, who had amassed at least one point in their last 10 meetings between the two teams (9-0-1). For his part, goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy had triumphed in his 11 previous outings against the Canadian.
Samuel Montembeault was making his fourth straight start and he was brilliant in front of the Canadian net. He made 31 saves.
Jonathan Drouin and Mike Matheson also hit the mark for the Canadiens (28-37-6), who had won just one of their previous 10 games (1-7-2).
Brayden Point and Pat Maroon scored for the Lightning (42-24-6), which defeated the Habs 5-3 on Saturday in Tampa. Vasilevskiy stopped 17 shots.
Dach (lower body) and Brendan Gallagher (right foot) were back in action for the Canadiens. Dach had missed the Canadiens’ last 16 games and Gallagher, 45 of the last 48 meetings.
Jesse Ylönen (illness) was left out, while Anthony Richard was transferred to the Laval Rocket.
Josh Anderson appeared to injure his right leg late in the game when he lost his balance before sliding into an empty net.
The Canadiens will play their next game on Thursday, when they visit the Boston Bruins.
Although he did not score on a power play early in the game, the Habs took the opportunity to gain momentum by generating a few scoring opportunities.
Dach finally opened the scoring 8:27 into the game, seconds after Suzuki intercepted a pass from Darren Raddysh.
Drouin widened the gap at 14:00 of the first period. He took advantage of a pass from Denis Gurianov, then beat Vasilevskiy with an accurate shot from the side of the shield.
Montembeault signaled himself before the end of the first twenty. He stopped a point-blank shot from Point during a Lightning power play.
The visitors dominated the second period, but they still retired to the locker room with a two-goal deficit.
Point scored at 8:58 on another powerplay, but Matheson replied at 16:58 with a long shot that stunned Vasilevskiy.
Montembeault allowed the Canadian to survive the onslaught of the Lightning. The Quebec goaltender was spectacular when he stretched the right leg to frustrate Nick Perbix as the teams played four against four.
The Lightning also ran out of luck a few times, including when Ross Colton missed the target after a perfect throw-in from Corey Perry.
The Canadian squandered numerous scoring opportunities in the third period, then Maroon finally reduced the deficit to just one goal with 5:06 to go.
However, the Habs were able to snuff out the Lightning attack afterwards.