MONTREAL — Ondrej Palat’s goal with 38 seconds left in the game gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 win over Montreal on Tuesday, exactly five months after the Lightning finished off the Canadiens in the 2021 Stanley Cup final.
Tampa Bay fell behind 2-1 after surrendering goals to Montreal’s Nick Suzuki and Mike Hoffman, but the thunder rolled and the Lightning struck late in the third period.
Corey Perry equalized in his first game back in Montreal with just over two minutes to play, and Palat sealed the comeback win with his last-minute game-winner.
Patrick Maroon scored a first-period goal for Tampa Bay. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves.
Jake Allen stopped 24 of 27 shots for Montreal.
The Canadiens made an early mistake when Habs newcomer Kale Clague turned the puck over in front of his own net, giving Maroon an easy opportunity to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Montreal levelled the score on the rush at 4:20 of the second period. Suzuki drove his team forwards and bagged his sixth goal of the season.
Hoffman scored the go-ahead goal, his first since Halloween. The winger’s shot from the top of the faceoff circle zoomed through the crowd of players and beat Vasilevskiy to put the Habs up 2-1.
Perry ruined the Habs’ party, tying the game 2-2 with 2:06 to go.
Palat then put the final nail in Montreal’s coffin with a game-winning goal at 19:22 of the third period, throwing yet another cold shower on Habs fans at the Bell Centre.