Montreal leads the best-of-seven series 3-0 and can sweep the Lightning with a win Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
A fired-up Rene Bourque scored 11 seconds after a rousing pre-game show and Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal. Ondrej Palat and Matthew Carle scored for Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay got a scare at 16:09 of the middle period when scoring star Steven Stamkos fell and was struck in the head by Alexei Emelin's knee, but he returned for the third period.
And the Bolts were outraged when the officials waived off an apparent goal by Ryan Callahan at the 15:38 mark of the second because of Alex Killorn's incidental contact with goalie Carey Price.
Montreal outshot Tampa bay 31-29.
The 21,273 in the seats were rocking as the Canadiens returned home after taking the opening two games in Tampa, Fla.
Play had just begun after fans joined Quebec singing star Ginette Reno for the Canadian anthem P.K. Subban bounced a puck up the middle that Bourque collected just inside the Bolts' line and beat Anders Lindback at the 11-second mark.
The Canadiens lost a chance to put the game away early when Mark Barberio got four minutes for high-sticking Brian Gionta, but Lindback and the Lightning came up with a brilliant penalty kill.
The Bolts had perhaps their best period of the series in the second and tied the game on their first man advantage. A Stamkos shot went off Mike Weaver's skate to Palat in the slot for the rookie of the year candidate's first playoff goal.
After seeing Subban deny what looked like a sure Tampa Bay goal by batting the puck out of the air in the crease and then having a Bolts' goal disallowed, Subban put on a show by ragging the puck around the net and feeding Gallagher for his second of the series at 18:10.
Plekanec added to the lead 5:43 into the third when he threaded a shot through from the right circle, but Carle got it back at 11:36 on a point shot that looked to deflect off a body in front of Price.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper made four lineup changes, bringing in forwards Palat, Tom Pyatt and B.J. Crombeen and defenceman Barberio and scratching Sami Salo, Michael Kostka, Richard Panik and Nikita Kucherov. Salo reportedly has an upper body injury.
Montreal made no changes.
Notes: The Canadiens called up a taxi squad from AHL Hamilton, including goalies Dustin Tokarski and Devan Dubnyk, defencemen Nathan Beaulieu, Davis Drewiske and Greg Pateryn and forwards Sven Andrighetto, Mike Blundin, Gabriel Dumont, Louis Leblanc and Christian Thomas. . . Bourque's goal was not a team record for fastest to start a game. Bo Gainey scored seven seconds into a playoff game in 1977.