Who will WIN this matchup?
Tampa Bay Lightning (2-2-1)
@ Montreal Canadiens (2-1-2)
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): Confirmed
Carey Price (MON): Confirmed
Tampa Bay Lightning: (-135)
Montreal Canadiens: (+115)
• The Montreal Canadiens look to build off their best performance of the season when they host the road-weary Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night for an Atlantic Division battle. Montreal managed one win in the first four games of the season and lost its home opener before scoring the final four goals in a 6-3 triumph over the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Saturday. “It’s big for our group,” Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher told the Montreal Gazette. “The one thing I will say in the last couple of years we’ve never lacked confidence as a team no matter who we’re playing. We feel like, especially in (our) building, we can beat anyone. It’s just a matter of making sure that we are playing our game and it’s a fine line when we’re on top of our game.” Montreal snapped a five-game losing streak against Tampa Bay with a 4-2 victory in early April and the first matchup of the 2019-20 season should feature two of the best goaltenders in Carey Price of the Canadiens and the Lightning’s reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy.
• Tampa Bay has dropped three of the first four contests on its six-game road swing after giving up a late goal in a 4-2 loss at Ottawa on Saturday after pounding Toronto 7-3 two days earlier. “It just seemed like through the whole game it wasn’t a consistent enough effort,” Lightning forward Alex Killorn told reporters after his team was outshot 34-21 on Saturday. “We has some really good shifts, but it seemed they outworked us in a lot of aspects. We’ve got to do better in that department.”
• Left wing Ondrej Palat scored in each of the past two games to tie captain Steven Stamkos, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and last season’s Hart Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov for the team lead with three. Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev notched an assist for the fourth time in five games Saturday and boasts six in all, tying Kucherov and Stamkos for the lead in points (six). Vasilevskiy (2-1-0) has turned aside 84 of 93 shots in his first three starts of 2019-20 and is 7-1-2 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 10 career contests against the Canadiens.
• Former Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist Saturday and boasts at least one point in the first five games of the season with six in all to tie Gallagher for the team lead. Max Domi scored for the second straight game and third in his last four Saturday to tie fellow forward Joel Armia for the top spot on the team with three goals. Price has been bombarded with 35.5 shots per game in his first four outings of the season while posting five points (2-1-1) along with a .901 save percentage, and can tie Sean Burke (324) for 27th in NHL history in wins.
• Kucherov has managed only seven shots in the first five games, tied with fourth-line power F Luke Witkowski.
• Both teams are struggling on the penalty kill as Tampa Bay is 13-for-18 and the Canadiens 11-for-17.
• Gallagher, who leads the team with 22 shots on net, is three points away from 300 for his career.