<
>

Jose Theodore notches 100th win

12/2/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jan Bulis had a clear view of his game-winning
goal.

Bulis scored a power-play goal 1:17 left in the third period to
lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay
Lightning on Tuesday night.

Bulis got his fifth of the season at 18:43 when he backhanded a
shot off goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and just inside the left post.
The goal came just moments after Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier
tied it at 2.

"I was kind of still looking for it when I skated around the
net behind Khabibulin, but it slowly got over the line and I was
happy," Bulis said.

Lecavalier, held without a point in his five previous games,
scored an unassisted goal off a faceoff at 16:10 of the third.

Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle was sent off a minute later for
high-sticking Bulis, who scored on the ensuing power play.

"I don't think they should have called it," Lecavalier said.
"I mean, he was in his way, anyway. It's not like he was on a
breakaway and getting tripped, or something like that."

Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore made 25 saves for his 100th
career victory.

"It feels good, but it's more the two points," Theodore said.
"I was aware of it the last couple of games -- I saw it on TV -- but
it's not something I was really looking forward to. I was looking
at the standings and we needed two points."

Saku Koivu scored for the first time this season, and then
assisted on Richard Zednik's go-ahead goal for Montreal in the
second.

Zednik also earned an assist on Koivu's goal.

Koivu, Montreal's captain and leading scorer last season, didn't
score in his first 11 games after returning from a knee injury that
sidelined him for the season's first four weeks.

"I think I'd be lying if I said that I didn't care if I didn't
score," Koivu said. "The bottom line is that one of my jobs is to
bring the offense and produce. I don't think that I've played that
bad, but I haven't been able to get the results."

Zednik got his eighth goal 17:49 into the second when Koivu set
him up from behind the net.

The Canadiens are 2-0-1 in their last three games to improve to
11-11-2-1. Montreal hadn't gone undefeated in three straight since
Oct. 11-16.

"We fought hard to get back to .500," Theodore said. "We just
have to build momentum. It's been three games that we haven't lost
so we've just got to keep going."

Tim Taylor also scored for the Lightning, which scored just five
times while going winless in five games.

"It's disappointing," Lightning center Brad Richards said.
"We had our chances in the third again. It's just one of those
things right now."

Pavel Kubina's point shot struck Canadiens left wing Jan Bulis
and rolled to Taylor, who redirected the puck into an open left
side at 10:22.

Montreal missed a great opportunity to tie it moments later.
After corralling Mike Komisarek's rebound, Yanic Perreault freed
himself in front of goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. With an open left
side, Perreault sent the puck just wide of the post.

The Canadiens also benefited from a bounce when Koivu scored at
15:12.

Zednik's shot from the high slot struck defenseman Nolan Pratt's
leg and caromed to Koivu, who beat Khabibulin with a quick shot.

Zednik didn't miss his chance late in the second when he beat
Khabibulin from the slot with 2:11 left in the period to put
Montreal ahead for good.

Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore made a pad save 7:31 in to deny
Lecavalier, slashed by Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray just as
he shot after Dave Andreychuk's long pass sent him in on a
breakaway from center ice.

Game notes
Lecavalier has 10 goals and five assists. He got 12 of his
15 points in his first 12 games. ... Lightning LW Cory Stillman
missed a few shifts and needed a few stitches under his left eye
after he was struck by a stick. ... Zednik, who began his career
with Washington, played his 200th game for Montreal. ... Canadiens
D Craig Rivet played right wing on the fourth line. ... Montreal
leading scorer Mike Ribeiro was a healthy scratch.