The Montreal Canadiens started the year 2008 with a win, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 in Montreal on Thursday night.
Alex Kovalev and Chris Higgins opened the scoring for the Canadiens, who went to the locker room up 2-0 after the first period.
Tampa rallied after the break, with Vincent Lecavalier scoring just 49 seconds into the second period. Michael Ryder answered with his first goal of the season at the Bell Centre, but Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal notched two quick strikes to make the score 3-3 heading into the final frame.
The third period made the difference, as the Habs scored three unanswered goals. Andrei Kostitsyn tallied his 10th of the season, followed by Kyle Chipchura and Ryder again to close the scoring.
Ryder seems to have finally snapped out of his funk. The winger added an assist to his two goals.
Montreal will host the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon.
(Picture: Michael Ryder and Alex Kovalev, Canadian Press)