Paul Byron scored in a shootout and the Montreal Canadiens ended a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
Byron was the only player to score in the shootout. Max Pacioretty scored in regulation for Montreal in its first victory since Dec. 22. Nikita Kucherov scored for Tampa Bay.
Pacioretty opened the scoring at 20 seconds of the second period.
Mikhail Sergachev, traded by Montreal to Tampa Bay for Jonathan Drouin in June, sent a weak pass up the left boards that was picked off by Pacioretty. The Canadiens captain skated into the slot and beat Andrei Vasilevskiy up high.
There was little goal celebration from Pacioretty, who ended a 13-game goal drought dating to Nov. 30.
Vasilevskiy, coming off two straight shutouts, saw his shutout streak end at 184 minutes, 49 seconds.
Only 44 seconds later, Kucherov skated into the slot and wristed his 26th goal of the season through traffic to beat Carey Price.
The Lightning wasted a big chance 6:33 into the third when Karl Alzner mishandled the puck at the far blue line, but Kucherov’s backhand on the ensuing breakaway went well over the crossbar.
NOTES: Montreal’s Jacob De la Rose played his first game since Dec. 7, replacing Daniel Carr. ... Ryan Callahan returned to the Tampa Bay lineup after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.
Lightning: At Ottawa On Saturday night.
Canadiens: Host Vancouver on Sunday night.