There will be no brooms for the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Montreal Canadiens shelled Bishop and co. 6-2 on Thursday night, forcing a fifth game at the Bell Centre. There were no lineup changes for the Canadiens in this one while Tampa Bay inserted Cedric Paquette for Brendan Morrow.
It was a quick start for the Canadiens as Andrei Markov gave Montreal an early 1-0 lead on a nice feed from P.K. Subban by the side of the net. Markov took a penalty near the midway of the period which led to Max Pacioretty scoring a shorthanded goal on a half break for a 2-0 lead.
It could have been 4-0 for the Canadiens as both Lars Eller and Pacioretty had excellent chances in close. Montreal had the clear advantage on a sloppy game from the home side. It was 2-0 after 20 minutes with Montreal leading shots 9-8.
It was another quick start to the second period for the Canadiens as David Desharnais popped a weak one past Ben Bishop for a 3-0 lead. That would be all she wrote for Bishop as Andrei Vasilevskiy stepped in. Montreal had their first power play chance of the period and Jeff Petry scored the Canadiens’ first power play goal since Game 2 of the Ottawa series. And 15 seconds later, Brendan Gallagher upped the Canadiens lead to 5-0.
A questionable second Markov penalty allowed Tampa Bay to pull one back, making it 5-1 with 7:33 to play in the second period. Pacioretty went to the dressing room after blocking a shot but quickly returned. The Lightning pressured late in the period and got a power play that carried into the third period. It remained 5-1 after 40 minutes with shots 24-18 in Montreal’s favour.
The Lightning scored immediately following the beginning of the third period, making it 5-2 with two power play goals and a full period to play. Montreal withstood some strong pressure before Brandon Prust restored Montreal’s four goal lead early in the frame. Tyler Johnson hit a post at midway mark of the period but that was all the Lightning could muster down the stretch. There wasn’t much action as the game wound down, aside from a few scrums around the net. The Habs held on to win 6-2, outshooting Tampa Bay 39-24.
HW 3 Stars of the Night
1st Star – Brendan Gallagher
It felt like he was on the ice much longer than 13 and a half minutes, but that’s the kind of game he had. Gallagher was all over the place again, played a hard 200-foot game and continued being the engine for the Canadiens up front.
1 goal – 0 assists – +2 rating – 2 shots – 1 hit – 1 takeaway – 13:32 TOI
2nd Star – Carey Price
It looked like it was easier than it likely was, but timely saves and that calming demeanour has been necessary for the success of this team. A quick third period goal followed by sustained Lightning pressure for a few minutes could have turned into another goal had Price not kept his composure.
22 saves on 24 shots – 2.00 GAA – .917 save percentage
3rd Star – Max Pacioretty
There’s the Pacioretty that Canadiens fans have been looking for since he returned from injury. It was a typical, dominant power forward game from Pacioretty as he played the best game of his postseason. By far.
1 goal – 2 assists – +3 rating – 3 shots – 1 hit – 0 takeaways – 17:30 TOI
Honourable Mention – Alex Galchenyuk
The youngster did everything right but score as he put in a second consecutive strong outing. You have to think the goals are going to start rolling in and if he continues playing that way, you have to think how can they not.
0 goals -2 assists – +1 rating – 6 shots –0 hits – 0 takeaways – 15:29 TOI
Stat of the Night
1. There’s lots of positives to take from this win but getting that power play goal is tops on my list. Talk about a dark cloud hanging over a team. They got the break through and they’re going to need it to keep clicking if they want a shot pulling this off.
Game 5 in Montreal is on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.