Halak Finally Gets his Chance vs Lightning

For the first time in his career, Jaroslav Halak will get a start for the Montreal Canadiens (32-29-6) against the Tampa Bay Lightning (27-26-11) on Tuesday night.

The Lightning have owned the season series against the Canadiens, with their latest coming from a 3-0 win on Jan 27. Tampa Bay is 5-0-3 in their last eight meetings with Montreal.

The Canadiens hold continue to hold on to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings, while the Lightning sit in 11th place, just four points back of 8th place Boston.

Game time is 7:30pm at the Bell Centre.

Halak's 21-save relief appearance was the catalyst in the Canadiens 4-3 come-from-behind shootout win Sunday night in Anaheim to rake in six points on their four-game road trip.

Before the game, Halak will be presented with the Molson Cup segment for January/February. The netminder also won it for the December segment.

Paul Mara (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (MCL) and Marc-Andre Bergereon (knee) remain on the injury shelf. THe latter two did skate Tuesday morning before the team skate. Cammalleri could return as early as March 20th and on his Twitter feed figures one to two weeks.

Look for a lifestyle feature on Cammalleri by Elliotte Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada this Saturday.

Tampa snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday night with a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Steven Stamkos has been on for for the Bolts, riding a 16-game scoring streak in which he has racked up 15 goals and 14 assists. Stamkos leads Tampa with 40 goals and is on pace to pass 50.

"It's definitely reachable, the way things are going," said the Lightning center. "It's definitely in the back of my mind. It would be special."

"This streak that he's on shows he's mature," Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet said.

"He's not full of himself. His professionalism is something he's picked up a lot quicker than most 19- and 20-year-olds. He just does everything right. He's a pleasure to coach."

Stamkos may posses one of the hardest shots in the league, as two panes of Bell Centre glass can attest to at Tuesday's morning skate.

"I've never done anything like that before," Stamkos said. "I was working on the one-timer and missed the net and broke two pieces of glass."

While Stamkos, Vincent LeCavalier and Martin St. Louis are typically the go to guys on Tampa's offence,  Steve Downie silently has a 10-game streak with 5 goals and 8 assists.

On the injury front, defenseman David Hale is out with a broken leg,  Zenon Konopka has back spasms and LW Ryan Malone is out with a upper-body injury. St. Louis (78pts, 6 assists in last 3 games) was deemed questionable, but is expected to start after taking a therapy day on Monday.

Anterro Niittymaki will get the start in goal for Tampa Bay.

Lightning vs Canadiens coverage

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