Bolts visit Montreal in battle for first place

( - The Tampa Bay Lightning attempt to grab a share of first place in the Atlantic division on Tuesday night as they visit the Montreal Canadiens.

The Lightning trail the first-place Canadiens by two points but with one more game played. They are coming off a perfect three-game homestand, capping the residency with Saturday's 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars.

That victory was the 26th at home this season for Tampa Bay, a new franchise single-season record. The Lightning scored three times in the third period to rally past the Stars, with Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman both scoring during a two-minute span early in the frame.

Anton Stralman, Nikita Kucherov and Brian Boyle (empty net) also scored for Tampa Bay and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves. Kucherov has eight goals and five assists over his past 15 games.

"It's always fun to play (here) when we come back from a road trip," said forward Ondrej Palat, who had three assists for Tampa Bay. "We were excited to play in front of our fans. It's a great building. We have a confidence here."

The Lightning improved to 2-18-2 when trailing after two periods and are set to play back-to-back road games before returning to Tampa for a six-game homestand.

The Bolts have won four straight over the Canadiens, including the first two of five meetings this season by an 11-3 margin. They are 5-0-1 in the past six encounters overall and have won three straight in Montreal.

Steven Stamkos has three goals in two games versus the Habs this season, Hedman has a goal and three assists and Kucherov has four helpers.

Bishop is 7-1-2 in 11 games (10 starts) lifetime versus the Habs with a 1.50 goals against average and .941 save percentage.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, return home following a rough four-game trip out west. They lost the first three contests, one in a shootout, before salvaging Saturday's finale 2-0 over the Arizona Coyotes.

Carey Price continued his excellent season with a 29-save shutout, the 32nd of his career. Price leads the NHL with 37 wins, a 1.89 GAA and .936 save percentage while tying for second with seven shutouts.

He is 10-9-4 in his career against the Lightning with a 2.51 GAA and .914 save percentage.

Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher each scored for the Canadiens on Saturday.

"It was a hard-earned two points," said Price. "We are looking forward to closing out the year on a strong note."

Montreal is 22-7-4 at home on the season and are close to getting defenseman Alexei Emelin back from an upper-body injury. He hasn't played since Feb. 18 but could return either tonight or on Thursday against visiting Ottawa.