Nikita Kucherov scores in 2OT to lift Lightning over Canadiens in Game 1

MONTREAL (AP) Nikita Kucherov scored at 2:06 of the second overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Kucherov took a pass in the slot from Valtteri Filppula and beat goalie Carey Price with a wrist shot on the first shot of the period.

Kucherov was involved in a controversial call 3 minutes into the first overtime. His shot on a breakaway was stopped and he bumped into Price as the puck went into the net, although it appeared Price dragged the puck in himself. After review, it was ruled Kucherov interfered with Price.

Tyler Johnson opened the scoring for Tampa Bay early in the third with his playoffs-leading seventh goal. Ben Bishop made 43 saves for the Lightning, coming off a Game 7 victory over Detroit on Wednesday night.

Max Pacioretty tied it with 5:13 left on a wrist shot off the rush down the left side that Bishop caught, but couldn't squeeze with his glove. The puck dropped behind him into the net.


Price stopped 33 shots for the Canadiens.

Game 2 is Sunday night in Montreal.

The Canadiens wasted a chance to get an early lead with Bishop clearly nervous, misplaying pucks around the crease. But David Desharnais and Pacioretty hit goalposts and another chance was ruled no-goal after a video review.

2015 NHL playoffs: Canadiens vs. Lightning second round preview

Weathering the early storm looked to settle down Bishop and he made the save of the night late in the second period when he stacked the pads and got a glove on Tomas Plekanec's shot on a short-handed 2 on 1 with Pacioretty.

At the other end, Price was at his Hart Trophy nominee best, and he got help during a scramble when Ondrej Palat had an open side but saw his shot go off Jeff Petry's skate.

Montreal's Alex Galchenyuk was sent off three times on minors, once for delay of game when a clearing attempt flew over the glass and another when Filppula sold a trip to the officials.

Johnson went off midway through the third period after a cross-check to the back or shoulder from Brendan Gallagher, but returned later. Johnson was penalized for holding on the play.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.