Lightning set to face Canadiens without Stamkos
(SportsNetwork.com) - Things had been going just fine for the Tampa Bay Lightning until they lost their franchise player to a broken leg in Monday's game at Boston.
The Lightning will try to get on without Steven Stamkos on Tuesday, as they visit the Montreal Canadiens for an Atlantic Division clash at the Bell Centre.
Tampa Bay entered Monday with a 12-4-0 record on the season, but wound up losing a costly 3-0 decision to the Boston Bruins. With the game scoreless in the second period, Stamkos went down with a broken right tibia after crashing into the net.
Stamkos was back-checking on a play in the Tampa Bay zone in the second period when he got tangled with Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Stamkos fell to the ice and slid feet-first before his lower right leg slammed into the right post.
He was removed on a stretcher with 7:11 remaining in the period and taken to a local hospital. The 23-year-old forward, who is tied for the NHL lead in goals (14) and points (23), is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the break on Tuesday morning and is expected to miss months of action.
Stamkos is the leader on Tampa Bay's offense and was riding a six-game goal streak before leaving Monday's game.
Later in the second period, the Bruins got goals 20 seconds apart from Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille to take the lead for good. Jarome Iginla added an empty-net tally with 59 seconds remaining in the third period to seal the win for the Bruins, who have dealt Tampa Bay three of its five losses this season.
Anders Lindback stopped 23 shots for Tampa Bay in his first action since Oct. 27.
Although the Lightning enter Tuesday still leading the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 24 points, it'll prove difficult to keep that standing with Stamkos on the shelf.
Tampa Bay is completing a three-game road trip tonight and is 5-3-0 as the guest this season. The Lightning have lost four straight in Montreal and Tampa has dropped four in a row and seven of nine overall in this series.
The Canadiens will try to build off a recent win over the New York Islanders, as the Habs halted a four-game slide (0-3-1) with Sunday's 4-2 home triumph. Lars Eller and Michael Bournival scored second-period power-play goals to snap a tie and send Montreal to the win over the visiting Isles.
Alex Galchenyuk added a goal and two assists to post a new career high in points for the Canadiens. Brendan Gallagher also tallied to back a 24-save effort from Carey Price.
"Right from the puck drop we came out and played 60 minutes," said Gallagher. "For the most part it was a total team effort. That's when we're having fun, when we're all contributing, everyone playing hard. Hopefully that continues."
Montreal upped its home record this season to 5-4-1 with the win and is completing a brief two-game stay at the Bell Centre tonight.
Price expects to get the start on Tuesday and is 9-6-2 with a 2.55 goals against average in 17 career games against the Lightning. Ben Bishop will get the call in net for Tampa and is 2-1-1 with a 2.02 GAA in five appearances versus the Habs.
11/12 11:06:47 ET