Stamkos Hat Trick Propels Tampa Bay Lightning Past Montreal Canadiens


Oct 13, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) is congratulated by teammates after he scored against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The bitter taste the Tampa Bay Lightning had in their mouths all summer was wiped away Monday night.

Steven Stamkos registered his eighth career NHL hat trick while Victor Hedman had a career high four points to lead the Bolts past the Montreal Canadiens 7-1 at Amalie Arena.

It was the first meeting between the Lightning (2-1-0) and Canadiens (3-0-1) since their Stanley Cup playoff series last season when Montreal swept Tampa Bay 4-0 in the first round.

Stamkos’ first goal of the night came on the power play and gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead in the first period after Hedman had opened the scoring at the 5:24 mark.

The Lightning captain had his second goal of the game with 6:45 left in the second. Hedman fed Stamkos with a lovely stretch pass before skating in and going five-hole on Montreal goalie Carey Price.

Stamkos had his hat trick 5:01 later on the power play when his low slap shot from the right faceoff circle found a way pass a screening Ryan Callahan and between Price’s legs.

Hedman had assists on all three of Stamkos’ goals.

The Bolts added three more goals in the final period as Callahan, Ondrej Palat and Vladislav Namestnikov, who scored his first career NHL goal, got their names on the scoreboard. Price was pulled after 40 minutes in favour of former Lightning goalie Dustin Tokarski.

Callahan’s goal was perhaps the goal of the game as he skated down the left side boards, faked out P.K. Subban with speed and strength before skating through the paint and sliding the puck past Tokarski.

Montreal’s lone goal came from Brendan Gallagher in the first period as he tipped in a Jarred Tinordi shot to make it 2-1.

10 different players recorded points for the Lightning, while Callahan, Namestnikov and Kucherov also had multi-point performances.

Ben Bishop got his third straight to start the season for the Lightning and made 16 saves. The Bolts outshot the Canadiens 41-17.

Montreal went 0-for-4 on the power play as the Lightning kept their perfect penalty kill in tact to start the season.

The Lightning are in action Tuesday when they host the New Jersey Devils to complete their four-game homestand.