Tampa Bay leads the National Hockey League with 6.2 assists per game, led by Victor Hedman averaging 0.8.
Instead of the match being tied 4-4 - and possibly heading into overtime - the score remained the same and an empty-netter by Alex Killorn in the dying seconds sealed a 5-3 Tampa Bay victory.
LAST 10 GAMES: Oilers: 3-7-0, averaging 2.8 goals, 4.9 assists, 2.8 penalties and 7.3 penalty minutes while giving up 3.8 goals per game with a.877 save percentage.
Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) and right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37), of Russian Federation, struggle with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44), of the Czech Republic, and center Steven Stamkos (91) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.
Even with the emphasis on defence, the Canadiens outshot the Lightning 39-23.
The Lightning, who played a 5 p.m. game at Carolina after winning the previous night in Ottawa, also got 28 saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy to improve to 5-1-1 this season on the second game of a back-to-back.
The Lightning regained the lead at 8:28 of the first period after Price misplayed the puck behind his net. "We weren't ready to play". The Lightning goalkeeper denied Max Domi the pad with a save in the middle of the first and made a nice save to novice Nick Suzuki late in the season.
Jeff Petry scored the only goal for the Canadiens.
Montreal coach Claude Julien felt a hot goaltender prevented the Canadiens from getting the result they deserved. The Lightning instead got two quick goals, added the third goal by Point in the second period, and then held on in the third period when they were tired.
"It starts with (Vasilevskiy)", said Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli.
"We did a great job blocking shots too". These two teams haven't played a close one-goal game since 2016 when Tampa won in overtime. The team's had to kill penalties just 7.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. "He's making huge saves for us, and the big thing is breaking the puck out. So I think it's all coming together for them". It was disappointing that we didn't get that goal that we needed or the two goals that we needed to win. Jake Virtanen has five goals and four assists over the last 10 games for Vancouver. The 2019 Vezina Trophy victor allowed a third-period goal to Andrei Svechnikov, but it took a super backhand pass from defenseman Jaccob Slavin and sharp finish by Svechnikov to beat him - Svechnikov's 18th of the season.
The Lightning are 15-2-0 against Atlantic Division opponents.
He's recovering from a concussion he suffered Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.