Match Schedule Time:
7:30 PM ET, October 13, 2010
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
One game into the season, Steven Stamkos is playing at the level that has made him a star for the Tampa Bay Lightning. That might not bode well for the Montreal Canadiens.
Coming off a stellar opener, Stamkos looks for another strong effort as the visiting Lightning take on the Canadiens on Wednesday night.
Stamkos recorded a career-high 51 goals to tie Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead during a breakout 2009-10 season. The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008, Stamkos picked up where he left off by scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 5-3 win over Atlanta on Saturday.
"I've played with Stamkos a couple of times at the world championships and I know he's got unbelievable hands," Atlanta goaltender Chris Mason said.
Stamkos showed off those hands in his last two games against Montreal, scoring twice and recording an assist.
"He doesn't try to get the fancy goals, " first-year Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "He battles in there."
Quebec native Vincent Lecavalier, who also scored in the opener, has four goals and eight assists in his last 10 games versus Montreal.
With games Wednesday and Thursday, Mike Smith and Dan Ellis are each expected to get a start in goal for Tampa Bay. It's uncertain who will be in net for this contest.
Smith, who stopped 27 shots against the Thrashers, is 1-0-2 with a 1.91 goals-against average versus Montreal. Ellis, who spent the last three seasons with Nashville, is 1-0 with a 2.38 GAA against the Canadiens.
Tampa Bay has not started 2-0 since winning its first three in 2007-08.
Boucher, who coached Montreal's AHL team in Hamilton to a 52-17-11 record last season, knows his club faces a tough task against the Canadiens (1-1-0) in their home opener.
"(Montreal) is going to be fired up," Boucher said. "There's a challenge. Let's go and jump into it."
The Lightning will try to contain Michael Cammalleri, who scored twice in a 3-2 comeback win at Pittsburgh on Saturday. Cammalleri's 13 postseason goals helped the Canadiens reach the Eastern Conference finals last season.
"Cammalleri is a real quality player and he has the ability to score key goals," coach Jacques Martin said of the 5-foot-9 winger who missed a 3-2 loss at Toronto on Thursday while serving a one-game suspension.
Cammalleri has a goal and three assists in five games versus Tampa Bay.
After stopping 57 of 62 shots the first two games, Carey Price is likely to be in goal for the Canadiens. Price, who regained the No. 1 job when playoff star Jaroslav Halak was traded to St. Louis, made 36 saves against Pittsburgh.
"Carey was really good, but you know what? We expect him to be that way," Cammalleri said.
Price is 3-3-1 with a 2.36 GAA against the Lightning.
Scott Gomez, who scored the winner Saturday, has two goals and seven assists in his last eight games versus Tampa Bay.
Though the teams have split their last eight meetings, Tampa Bay has lost once in regulation during that span -- 5-3 at Montreal on March 9.
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