Lightning win 4-2 at Canadiens to open lead in the Eastern Conference


MONTREAL, Quebec — Tampa Bay claimed outright leadership of the NHL’s Eastern Conference by winning 4-2 at nearest rival Montreal on Tuesday, with the Lightning scoring all four of its goals in the second period.

Among other games, Vancouver and San Jose both won �X defeating the New York Islanders and Minnesota respectively �X to remain locked together in joint second place in the Pacific Division, while Nashville moved clear atop the Central by beating Carolina while Chicago was beaten at home by Colorado.

Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson scored twice while Brett Connolly and J.T. Brown also tallied in the four-goal second period.

Dale Weise and Max Pacioretty had goals for Montreal, which may have slipped two points behind the Lightning but have two games in hand. It was the Canadiens first game at home since Dec. 20, having completed a perfect five-game road trip.

Vancouver’s Nick Bonino and Linden Vey scored in the second period to snap long goal droughts, and help the Canucks beat the Islanders 3-2.

Ryan Stanton added his first goal in more than a year as Vancouver improved to 5-1-1 in its last seven games.

Matt Martin and Mikhail Grabovski scored for New York.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon scored and set up a goal by Maxime Talbot in the opening 1:17, giving the Avalanche an ideal start to a 2-0 win at Chicago.

Semyon Varlamov made 54 saves for his third shutout of the season and help Colorado win despite being outshot by 30.

Corey Crawford finished with 22 saves for the Blackhawks, who had a season high in shots and dominated the pace.

San Jose came from behind to win 4-3 at Minnesota, with Marc-Edouard Vlasic scoring the winner 3:09 into overtime.

Vlasic, who scored the winner with 4.5 seconds left in regulation on Monday at Winnipeg, netted a wrist shot from outside the left circle.

Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels scored 1:14 apart to give San Jose a 3-2 lead at 7:35 of the third period.

Minnesota’s Jason Zucker tipped in a pass at 12:12 for his second goal of the game, tying it 3-3 and temporarily helping the Wild regain momentum.

St. Louis’ David Backes scored four goals to lead the Blues’ 5-0 rout of Arizona.

Paul Stastny and Jayden Schwartz also scored for St. Louis, which won in Arizona for the sixth straight time with a 29-8 scoring edge in those games.