Cape Braden leads Chargers over Montreal

TAMPA — When Brayden Point pushed the puck into the offensive zone, he found himself surrounded by four Montreal uniforms.

no big deal.

The Chargers’ leading scorer then reached to put the puck on his stick, using his speed to cut through traffic, move toward Montreal defenseman Joel Edmondson, and slide the puck under his stick. He was ready to hit Canadiens goaltender Jack Allen with a wrist shot that stunned 19,902 people Wednesday night and gave Tampa Bay a three-goal lead in the second quarter.

Point picked up where he left off before the Chargers’ week-long holiday break, scoring two goals, including another highlight in Tampa Bay’s 4-1 win over Montreal.

The Chargers’ top center now has a team-high 19 goals, including 13 in his last 14 games. That stretch includes four two-goal games, and Poynter has scored in seven of his last nine games.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped his first 25 shots and scored his 10th win in his past 14 starts.

Back on the home ice after a six-day break for the holidays, the Chargers quickly proved their legs were back after dropping two frustrating road losses on back-to-back nights last week.

They quickly led the Canadiens with two first-period goals and never looked back.

Lightning left winger Alex Killorn (17) reacts with teammates Victor Hedman (77) and Anthony Cirelli (71) after scoring in the first quarter.
Lightning left winger Alex Killorn (17) reacts with teammates Victor Hedman (77) and Anthony Cirelli (71) after scoring in the first period. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Playing the first of three games over four days in December, the Chargers quickly hit Alex Killorn’s goal with 1:55 left in Game 1.

Victor Hedman moved quickly into the attacking zone to chase a Montreal error, but an initial shot from a tight angle just below the right circle was blocked. But he got the ball off the end plate and made a backhand pass into the slot, and Keelon beat Allen at five.

The Chargers scored again on a strong play as Point sneaked a wrist from the right hashmark on a Nikita Kucherov touch pass, burying his shot in Allen’s with 5:51 left in the first quarter. blocking side distance.

After Point’s second goal, Brandon Hagel scored his fifth goal in his past five games on an early rebound at the 8:31 mark of the third quarter.

Tampa Bay did a lot of what Toronto and Detroit did to them last week against Montreal, controlling the puck and not giving the Canadiens many chances to score. In the first two quarters, Tampa Bay held Montreal to just 10 shots on target in a 5-on-5 game.

The Lightning went 5-for-5 from the free throw line on the night, continuing their 27-for-29 streak in December.

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