Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
The Montreal Canadiens took advantage of a late power play to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 and swept the best-of-seven series 4-0.
Before the game started, I was convinced that Max Pacioretty would score. He had been getting too many chances and I thought it would be his breakout game. Well, he definitely had me waiting until the last moment.
It wasn’t a great game for the Canadiens first line. They were getting chances but weren’t as strong with the puck – especially Thomas Vanek and David Desharnais. But, they were on the ice when Pacioretty scored and it was Vanek’s shot the squeaked through to the Canadiens sniper.
Carey Price allowed a couple of weird goals in this one, and a third that he would probably want to have back as well, and like in Game 1 did not allow anything after that. He didn’t win this game for the Canadiens, but he never gave up the lead and made sure he didn’t cost them the game.
Anders Lindback did not play very well at all allowing two goals on long shots. The first goal was a defensive breakdown that can’t be blamed on the goaltender but he also didn’t make a key save in the first five minutes allowing the Canadiens to take an early lead again. He was replaced by Kristers Gudlevskis who didn’t allow anything until Pacioretty’s winner.
The Canadiens now can rest as the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings are only through game 3 of a series that will go at least five games. It is an odd position for the Canadiens to be in who haven’t swept a series since 1992-1993 when they defeated the Buffalo Sabres in Round 2 on their way to the Stanley Cup.
Both the Red Wings and Bruins are experienced teams and the Canadiens will have a challenge in the second round, but I think they’ll be up for the challenge and we will talk about their next series that will probably get started only next week.