Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) – After winning Game 1 in double overtime,
Tampa Bay used an offensive outburst to end a pair of slumps and cruise past
Montreal in Game 2.
Steven Stamkos finally scored his first goal of the postseason and the
Lightning struck with four power-play goals in a 6-2 victory over the
Canadiens in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday.
Tampa Bay’s man advantage was a meager 0-for-25 before Valtteri Filppula,
Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman all tallied power-play goals.
Kucherov finished with two goals, Filppula and Stamkos each provided a goal
and two assists, J.T. Brown also scored and Ben Bishop made 27 saves in the
Jeff Petry and Tom Gilbert each lit the lamp, while Carey Price allowed all
six goals on 24 shots for the Canadiens, who have lost their last seven games
against the Lightning.
The series resumes with Game 3 Wednesday in Tampa Bay.
Stamkos, who had 43 regular-season goals before his offensive drought, gave
the Lightning a 2-1 lead just over eight minutes into the second period. The
Lightning captain took a stretch pass from Jason Garrison, split two defenders
and capped off the breakaway with a slick backhand-forehand move.
Just over four minutes later, Kucherov added to the Lightning lead with
another power-play goal. Tyler Johnson and Stamkos played catch with the puck
on the left side before Johnson sent a cross-ice pass to Kucherov, who snapped
the puck into a wide-open cage past a sliding Price.
Hedman got in on the action with 14 seconds left by wristing in Alex Killorn’s
cross-crease dish on the man advantage for a 4-1 lead heading into the final
The Lightning continued with their special-teams onslaught as Kucherov deftly
redirected Johnson’s slap shot 6:37 into the third.
Gilbert ended Tampa Bay’s string of goals with a heavy slap shot with under
nine minutes to play, and moments later, Brown’s deflection of Filppula’s
right-circle shot bounced off Price’s pad into the air and over the goal line
to account for the final score.
The Canadiens controlled the pace of play early on and got on the board first.
After a failed clear, Torrey Mitchell worked the puck back to Petry, who fired
a long-range wrister over Bishop’s right from the point just 7:20 into the
With over a minute to play, Mitchell nearly put the Canadiens up with a
nifty deke around Anton Stralman and a wrister in tight, but was denied by
Filppula moved to the right circle and one-timed Hedman’s feed from the blue
line under Price’s arm for a tied game and Tampa Bay’s first power-play goal
in their last 26 attempts with 24 seconds left in the first.
The Lightning tied a franchise postseason record with four power-play goals
… Price last allowed six goals in a playoff game in a 6-1 loss to Ottawa on
May 5, 2013 … Johnson and Killorn each tallied two assists … Price played
in his 50th career playoff game, becoming the fourth goaltender in franchise
history to reach that mark … Bishop improved to 12-1-2 in 15 career games
against the Canadiens … Canadiens forward David Desharnais was out due to
illness … Tampa Bay has allowed just three goals over their last 11 periods.