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Lightning falls further behind despite gaining a point against Montreal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning gained a point Saturday night.

Still, it lost ground.

The Lightning dropped a 2-1 game in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens, but watched as both of its playoff competitors won. Tampa Bay now trails Boston by four points for the final wild-card spot and both Toronto and Ottawa by five points for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Montreal’s winning goal came from Alexander Radulov 51 seconds into overtime.

The Bolts lost despite  34 saves by Andrei Vasilevskiy, who gave up a questionable goal in the second period.

“Well, you can look at it a couple of ways. You can say, ‘Well, that was a bad one to give up.’” coach Jon Cooper said. “Or you could look at it and say that Vasy made like six 10-bellers and we still pushed that game to overtime. It was one of those games,  they’re a good team and we’ve been asked for so much from our guys and they just keep delivering and delivering.

“Kind of the signature of this team, they found a way in the third to will us at least a point and give us the chance that we had in overtime. So I look at it as a complete positive because we got a point out of the game and we can sit here and say, ‘They got the better of us tonight.’ I guess there’s not much wiggle room left, but not getting a point out of that game would have been devastating.”

Yanni Gourde scored for the Bolts for the third straight game to force overtime.

Tampa Bay plays at home tonight against Dallas.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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