TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored three goals, Victor Hedman had a career-high four points and the Tampa Bay Lightning routed the Montreal Canadiens 7-1 on Monday night.
After Stamkos scored on a breakaway off a pass from deep in the defensive zone by Hedman at 13:15 of the second period, the Lightning captain completed the hat trick from the top of the right circle on Tampa Bay’s sixth power-play goal this season. That made it 4-1 with 1:46 left in the middle period.
Hedman finished with a goal and three assists. Ryan Callahan, Ondrej Palat and Vladislav Namestnikov had the other Tampa Bay goals.
Stamkos tied Martin St. Louis for the team record with eight career hat tricks.
Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadiens, who went 3-1 on a season-opening road trip.
It was the first game between the teams since Montreal completed a first-round playoff sweep last April.
Hedman scored in his third consecutive game to put the Lightning up 1-0 with a backhander from the slot that eluded Carey Price 5:24 into the game. It is the defenseman’s longest career goal streak.
Stamkos made it 2-0 on the power play at 9:51 of the first.
Gallagher cut Montreal’s deficit to 2-1 on a nifty redirection with 7:44 left in the first.
After Ben Bishop made the initial save, Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman slid through the crease to stop Jiri Sekac’s rebound try early in the second.
Price was pulled after allowing four goals on 23 shots through two periods.
Callahan and Palat scored 17 seconds apart in the third against Dustin Tokarski. Namestnikov got his first NHL goal late in the period.
Tampa Bay outshot Montreal 18-1 in the third and 41-17 for the game.
NOTES: Lightning coach Jon Cooper said rookie Jonathan Drouin (broken right thumb) is “really close” to making his NHL debut. … Montreal D Alexei Emelin (upper-body injury) took part in the morning skate but sat out his second straight game. … U.S. women’s Olympic team player Anne Schleper skated in the Lightning’s morning skate as part of Girls Play Hockey Weekend. “Impressive,” Cooper said. … Chicago Blackhawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman, who coached the Canadiens to five Stanley Cup championships during the 1970s, scouted the game. Montreal has won the Stanley Cup twice since Bowman’s departure following the 1978-79 season.
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