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Habs top slumping Lightning for fifth straight win

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jose Theodore stopped 32 shots and Richard
Zednik scored midway through the third period, leading the Montreal
Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday
night.

Defensemen Andrei Markov and Craig Rivet scored power-play goals
to help Eastern Conference-leading Montreal extend its winning
streak to five games.

Tim Taylor and Vinny Prospal scored for Tampa Bay, which lost
its fourth in a row. The losing streak is the defending Stanley Cup
champions' longest since Dec. 9-16, 2003.

Theodore, the league's top goalie and MVP in 2002, frequently
displayed his award-winning form from that season, overshadowing a
solid NHL debut by Tampa Bay goalie Brian Eklund.

Rivet scored his second of the season 6:59 into the third to tie
it at 2.

Alex Kovalev, who assisted on Rivet's goal, set up Zednik's
go-ahead goal, sending his linemate in on a partial breakaway.
Zednik went to his backhand, flipping a shot past Eklund to bring
the sellout crowd of 21,273 out of its seats for the second time in
less than three minutes.

Taylor opened the scoring 3:06 in on a play that left Theodore
with little chance. Sent in on a pass by defenseman Paul Ranger,
Taylor fired his first shot into Theodore before swatting the
rebound up and over the goalie's glove and into the top left
corner.

Eklund, a native of Braintree, Mass., who played at Brown
University, made 16 saves. He stopped the first seven shots he
faced before Markov beat him on a shot from the left point at
10:53.

Theodore, who made a big pad save off Vincent Lecavalier before
Markov's tying goal, made several big stops early in the second,
including a sensational glove grab off Brad Richards 2:11 in.

The Montreal goalie kept up the solid effort until Prospal beat
him on a deflection at 13:36 to put the Lightning ahead again at
2-1.

Game notes
The Lightning's last four-game losing streak included a 5-2
loss to the Canadiens on Dec. 13, 2003. ... Montreal has sold out
each of its nine games at the Bell Centre. ... Kovalev has 399
career assists.