The Montreal Canadiens won their way through three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that hasn’t been the case in defeating the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions.
The Canadiens outshot the Tampa Bay Lightning 43-23 in Game 2 on Wednesday night in Tampa. They dominated for much of the game, that is until Blake Coleman scored a one-armed, buzzer-beater with a second to go in the middle frame. The mood in Amalie Arena suddenly shifted.
Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made a playoff regulation career-high of 42 saves. You could hear chants regularly from the crowd; “Va-sy Va-sy Va-sy” throughout the game. Montreal made a concerted effort on trying to throw Vasilevskiy off his game but no such luck. They shot the puck from every direction they could.
The Lightning were missing Alex Killorn, one of their leading scorers who was injured in Game 1. Mikhail Sergachev, and forwards Tyler Johnson and Ross Colton were all visibly struggling in pain, so Tampa found a way to beat Price three times on goals by Anthony Cirelli, Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat.
“We were outworked, out-chanced and out-battled in the second period," defenseman Ryan McDonagh said.
The Lightning will look to work out some of the mistakes they made at the beginning of the first period. This win puts them up two games to none in the final with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.
Montreal will head home for Games 3 and 4, needing to win at least one to avoid being swept by an opponent that can win many different ways.
It was announced on Wednesday evening that the Quebec Public Health Authorities will not allow them to have more fans in the Bell Centre. There will be 3,500 for Game 3.