Habs edge Lightning to snap road skid

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella
made it clear. The defending Stanley Cup champions are going no
where until their goaltending gets better.

Pierre Dagenais scored the tiebreaking goal from a tough angle
with 11:26 remaining and Jose Theodore made 41 saves to help the
Montreal Canadiens snap a nine-game road losing streak with a 4-3
victory over the Lightning on Wednesday night.

Dagenais's shot from the boards beat John Grahame, who took over
the starting goalie role after Nikolai Khabibulin signed a
free-agent contract with Chicago during the offseason

The Lightning dominated much of the game, outshooting Montreal

"Eighteen scoring chances to 10, we can't have four goals in
our net on 10 chances," said Tortorella, who pounded the podium
with his hand several times during his postgame news conference.
"Especially the fourth goal, it can't happen. I'm ... at what's
happening there because I thought our team played very well
tonight. And this has gone on for quite a while."

Tortorella said backup Sean Burke will start Friday night
against Boston.

"I hope he plays well," Tortorella said. "If he plays well,
he's going to go again. I'm not up here trying to rip anybody
apart. Let's be honest about what's going on here, and it's getting
old. We're going no where until that situation is straightened

The Lightning are near the salary cap top, which could make a
trade difficult.

Montreal's record for consecutive road losses is 10, set Jan.
16-March 13, 1926.

"We needed two points in the standings," Theodore said.
"We've been sliding, so it was nice to see us respond."

Theodore returned after missing four games because of a knee
injury. He stopped close-range shots by Martin St. Louis in the
first and second periods.

"I felt good," Theodore said. "I'm not 100 percent. My
conditioning isn't what it needs to be."

The Canadiens also got goals from Jan Bulis and Sheldon Souray.

Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Craig also scored for Tampa Bay,
which has lost six of eight. The Lightning fell to eighth in the
Eastern Conference, one point behind the seventh-place Canadiens.

"They are a hard team to contain," Montreal coach Claude
Julien said. "But we got some timely goals and terrific
goaltending. It was battle-tested victory for us in many ways."

Richard Zednik's power-play goal at 1:41 of the third put the
Canadiens up 3-2, but Pavel Kubina tied it off a rebound at 4:06.

Despite being outshot 13-5, Montreal lead 1-0 after the first.
Bulis scored from in close at 5:30 off a pass from behind the net
by Alex Kovalev, who had two assists.

Souray made it 2-0 when he snapped a 26-game goal-scoring
drought during a 5-on-3 power play at 3:39 of the second. The
Canadiens scored twice on their first six shots on Grahame.

Grahame stopped breakaway attempts by Mike Ribeiro and Dagenais.
He had 20 saves.

Lecavalier's breakaway goal at 13:17 and Craig's in-close shot
with 1:02 left in the second got the Lightning even at 2-all.

"It's pretty frustrating," Lecavalier said. We were aggressive
the whole game. We played a solid game. I don't know what else to

Game notes
The Canadiens lost twice in overtime and once in a shootout
during their road losing streak. ... Lightning captain Dave
Andreychuk played in his 1,634 game, leaving him one away from
tying Scott Stevens for fourth place on the NHL list. ... Montreal
was without C Saku Koivu (groin) and C Radek Bonk (groin). ...
Tampa Bay sent RW Darren Reid to Springfield of the AHL.