Rolling Habs host showdown with Bolts

( - The Montreal Canadiens will try to post their longest winning streak in nearly nine years on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

If they do, they'll take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.

The Canadiens return home from a perfect five-game road trip having matched a season high with six straight victories. They are even with the Lightning atop the division standings with 54 points, though they have played two fewer games.

Montreal was on top of the Atlantic following a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, but Tampa Bay joined the Habs in first place with a victory over the Ottawa Senators the following night.

The Canadiens concluded their road trip with a solid effort against the Penguins, with Carey Price making 30 saves. Max Pacioretty and Tom Gilbert both had a goal and an assist, while David Desharnais and Alexei Emelin added scores in Montreal's ninth victory in 10 games.

"We showed a lot of energy tonight and stuck to the game plan," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.

Forward P.A. Parenteau did not play on Saturday due to an upper-body injury and is unlikely for tonight when the Habs try to win seven in a row for the first time since an eight-game run from March 23-April 6, 2006.

Price figures to get the start and is 10-8-4 with a 2.43 goals against average and .916 save percentage in 22 meetings with the Lightning, but was hammered for four goals on 23 shots through two periods of a 7-1 loss in Tampa on Oct. 13.

Backup Dustin Tokarski yielded three goals on 18 shots in relief.

That was the first of five meetings this season between the clubs and marked the Lightning's third straight win over the Habs. Tampa Bay also has won two straight in Montreal.

The Lightning were led in that victory by Steven Stamkos' hat trick and four points by defenseman Victor Hedman off a goal and three assists. Ben Bishop made 16 saves.

Bishop is 6-1-2 with a 1.44 GAA and .944 save percentage in 10 games (9 starts) versus the Canadiens and is likely to start tonight as his club concludes a four-game swing.

The Lightning goaltender made 20 saves in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Senators, setting down after allowing a goal just 32 seconds in.

However, Tyler Johnson, Hedman and Stamkos all scored in the second period and Johnson picked up his second goal of the game in the third frame.

"We gave up one on the first shift, but after that I thought we had a great response of just sticking with the game plan," Stamkos admitted. "We kind of had to take what they gave us and we turned in a big effort tonight."

Stamkos and company shook off a loss to the Penguins on Friday to win for the fifth time in six games.

The Lightning will remain without defenseman Radko Gudas, who has missed the last three games and is expected to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old has two goals and three assists in 31 games this season.