Published May 02, 2016
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Vladislav Namestnikov registered a pair of goals and one assist, as the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a playoff berth and set a new single-season record for wins in a season thanks to a 5-3 decision over Montreal in a crucial intra-divisional battle from Bell Centre.
Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Drouin and Anton Stralman added scores for the Lightning, whose 47 wins surpassed the old mark of 46 set three times previously.
"It was a great team effort with the lineup we had," Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos said.
Ben Bishop stopped 25 shots and added a pair of assists -- one shy of the NHL record set by Calgary's Jeff Reese in 1993 -- to snag the win.
Max Pacioretty, Jeff Petry and P.K. Subban lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who dropped all five games in the season series to their Atlantic Division foes.
"I hope we play them in the playoffs, if people really think that passionately about it, because we have a lot to prove against that team," Pacioretty said.
Carey Price took the loss despite making 39 saves.
Petry bested Bishop on a wrister after Lars Eller won a left-circle draw and Montreal closed within 3-2 at the 23-second mark of the third, then Namestnikov was set up by Ondrej Palat for a left-circle shot which provided a two-goal spread at 6:21.
Subban's power-play strike with 3:50 left pulled the hosts to within 4-3 and Price was pulled for an extra skater in the final 92 seconds.
Tampa locked up the victory after Brian Boyle won a defensive-zone draw back to Stralman, who hit the empty net from deep inside his own zone with 57 seconds to go.
Namestnikov opened the scoring at 1:24 of the second period, then Pacioretty equalized while the Habs were shorthanded at 4:24, but Drouin converted with the advantage only 33 seconds later by splitting two defenders up the middle.
Kucherov provided a two-goal edge for the Bolts at 18:07 by one-timing a Namestnikov pass from the right wing.
The Lightning reached the 100-point mark for the second straight season and the fourth time in franchise history ... Bishop joined Buffalo's Ryan Miller (Feb. 25, 2014) and Vancouver's Cory Schneider (Dec. 11, 2010) as the last American-born goaltenders to record two assists in one game ... Drouin snapped a 42-game goal drought ... Prior to the game, the Bolts revealed defenseman Jason Garrison will miss 3-to-4 weeks with an upper-body injury and forward Tyler Johnson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and blueliner Andrej Sustr will be out 1-to-2 weeks with an upper-body issue.