Recapping Game #4

The series heads back to Tampa Bay for Game #5 Wednesday

Canadiens Stay Alive

First Period: The Tampa Bay Lightning started the period with two scoring opportunities within the first 1:30 due to mistakes and poor coverage by the Montreal Canadiens. With Montreal looking nervous, the Lightning dominated through 10:00, leading 10-1 in shots. Then, out of nowhere, Nick Suzuki patiently gets around a sprawled defender and sends a beautiful backhand pass to an open Tyler Toffoli for a goal.  After a poor penalty call against the Canadiens with just over 2:00 to go, Tampa Bay hits the post on the power play. The Canadiens manage to escape the period up 1-0 despite being behind 12-5 in shots.

Second Period: Montreal maintained their momentum through to the halfway point of the second period, in part thanks to a Brayden Point penalty.  After easily killing a Corey Perry hooking penalty, the Canadiens got back to work, controlling the play until an unadvised tripping penalty was taken by Joel Armia.  Victor Hedman hit the post with one shot, as well as teammate Point with another, but no luck on the power play for the Lightning.  Finally, at 17:20, Barclay Goodrow scores on a no-look, backhand feed from Ryan McDonagh.  The period ends 1-1, with Tampa leading 20-14 in shots.

Third Period and Overtime: While the third period started with a lot of pace and physicality, there were few scoring opportunities. Of note, one post-whistle scrum filled each team’s penalty box, with three roughing penalties given to both teams.  Then, at 8:48 into the period, defenseman Alexander Romanov scores on a seeing-eye shot from the point, putting the Canadiens up 2-1.  Quickly thereafter, on a 2-on-1, Mathieu Joseph sets up Pat Maroon with a sweet saucer pass. The game is tied 2-2 with 6:12 remaining in regulation.

Alone at the side of the net, Nikita Kucherov hits the post with about 2:30 to go, putting the Lightning’s post total up to three. But, with 1:01 left, it looked like Montreal’s streak of luck would end. Shea Weber high-sticks Ondrej Palat, giving the dominant Lightning power play 4:00 to win the game. Surprisingly, Montreal survives the power play, even giving the Lightning a scare with a short-handed 2-on-1 scoring chance that Andrei Vasilevskiy saved. Shortly after the penalty expires, Josh Anderson steals the puck and speeds up the wing. He attempts to pass it in front, stops on the loose puck, and dives to shovel it past Vasilevskiy, thanks in part to the net front presence of Cole Caufield. The Canadiens win 3:57 into overtime and force Game #5 on July 7 in Tampa Bay.

Weigh In: Will the Canadiens be able to extend the series again in Tampa or will the Lightning win the Stanley Cup on home ice?

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