(Sports Network) - After splitting their first two games of the season on the road the Montreal Canadiens will stage their home opener tonight, when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens were dealt a regulation loss by the Maple Leafs on the opening day of the season, but rebounded with a victory Saturday night in Pittsburgh. It was the first game between Montreal and the Penguins since the Habs ousted Pittsburgh from the playoffs last spring with a victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
On Saturday, Scott Gomez notched the game-winning goal with 1:48 left in the third period to lift the Canadiens to the 3-2 victory. Montreal goaltender Carey Price was strong for his first win of the season, stopping 36-of-38 shots.
"Carey was really good, but you know what, that's what we expect him to be," said Mike Cammalleri. "It wasn't anything out of the ordinary for him. It was a well played game from him."
Cammalleri, who recorded 13 goals during Montreal's run to the conference finals last year, posted two tallies for the Canadiens in his first game of the season. The diminutive winger was forced to sit out the season opener while serving a one-game suspension for cross-checking Nino Niederreiter of the New York Islanders in a preseason contest.
Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury, but is expected to make his 2010-11 debut tonight. The veteran blueliner had six goals and 20 assists in 75 games for the Habs last year.
The Canadiens, who went 20-16-5 at Bell Centre last season, will be back on the road to face Buffalo on Friday night.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, will kick off a three-game road trip tonight after posting a home win to begin the 2010-11 campaign.
Steven Stamkos led the way in the Lightning's 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, scoring his first two goals of the season after tying Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league lead with 51 tallies a year ago.
Vincent Lecavalier, Steve Downie and Dominic Moore also scored for the Lightning, while Mike Smith made 27 saves to earn the win.
"We felt great. We had a ton of shots in the first period, guys were buzzing," said Stamkos, who was credited with the game-winner. "We had a gameplan of getting pucks to the net, crash the net, started off great. What scared us was the way we collapsed in the second period."
The Lightning missed the playoffs last year, but revamped the entire organization in the offseason, bringing in former Detroit Red Wings superstar Steve Yzerman as general manager and hiring Guy Boucher as the new head coach. Boucher spent last season in the Canadiens organization as head coach of the club's AHL affiliate in Hamilton.
Tampa will try to get off to a good start on the road tonight after posting a dreadful 13-22-6 mark as the visiting team in 2009-10. The Lightning will also visit Philadelphia and Florida on their current swing.
The Canadiens and Lightning each won twice over four games during last year's season series and the clubs have split the last 14 encounters overall. However, Tampa Bay has dropped five of its last eight in Montreal.