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Canadiens vs. Lightning 5 Takeaways: Leaving it all on the ice

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Habs snap five-game losing streak with thrilling 2-1 shootout win.

NHL: JAN 04 Lightning at Canadiens Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

1. The most entertaining game of the season, by far

Do not rub your eyes, you are not being deceived. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the league's best team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Thursday.

The game could've easily ended in a stinker for the Canadiens, and those boo-birds would've rang louder in the Bell Centre.

Instead, the Habs put forth one of the better efforts — their best — of the season. They controlled play for much of the contest and peppered Andrei Vasilevskiy with shots, 38 to be exact. The Canadiens also had 16 high-danger chances to Tampa's nine, playing like the better team on Thursday night.

2. Carey Price played his best game of his season

This game saw Price at his best. At his most dominant. World class.

The Lightning's potent offence only got one goal past him, courtesy of their top scorer, Nikita Kucherov, but he held the fort otherwise, making 44 saves. It's the most saves he's made in a game this season.

3. Save of the year

Price way crucial for the Canadiens’ success throughout the game, but his finest effort came in the overtime period.

This save was so nice, it deserves its own number.

Price made a nice initial save on Tyler Johnson, but couldn't glove it cleanly. Ondrej Palat needed a moment to corral the puck off the rebound. All the while, Carey Price rolled onto his back.

Somehow, some way, Price stopped the puck with his toe. He didn't even need Jonathan Drouin, who had the best seat in the house for the save, as reinforcement behind him. This save may very well be the best we've seen this season.

4. Max Pacioretty's ended his goal drought

But he wasn't over the moon about it, it seemed. Captain Max looked more Captain Serious after scoring his first goal in God knows how long (14 games).

He was a bit more light-hearted in the post-game scrum, though.

5. Could this be the turning point in the Habs’ season?

It's hard to be optimistic about the Canadiens' chances at making the playoffs at this point, eight points back of the final wild-card spot with six teams ahead of them in that race, and 11 back of an Atlantic Division seeding. But picking up a pair of points against the league’s top team will go a long way to gaining the confidence needed for a mad dash to a post-season berth.

If the Habs are serious about making it to the postseason, they have to channel that same energy against the Vancouver Canucks in their next game on Sunday; the last one before their five-day bye week.