Canadiens grab 3-0 series lead with 3-2 win
The Associated Press | April 21,2014
Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec, center, celebrates with teammates Brandon Prust, right, and Brendan Gallagher after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning during Sunday’s NHL playoff game in Montreal.
MONTREAL — Tomas Plekanec scored at 5:43 of the third period and the Montreal Canadiens moved one win away from advancing to the second round of NHL playoffs with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.
Montreal leads the best-of-seven series 3-0 and can sweep the Lightning with a win Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Rene Bourque scored 11 seconds into the game after a rousing pregame show and Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal. Ondrej Palat and Matthew Carle scored for Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay got a scare at 16:09 of the second period when scoring star Steven Stamkos fell and was struck in the head by Alexei Emelin’s knee, but he returned for the third period.
And the Lightning were outraged when the officials waived off an apparent goal by Ryan Callahan at the 15:38 mark of the second because of Alex Killorn’s incidental contact with goalie Carey Price.
Montreal outshot Tampa Bay 31-29.
Play had just started after fans joined Quebec singing star Ginette Reno for the Canadian anthem P.K. Subban bounced a puck up the middle that Bourque collected just inside the Tampa line and beat Anders Lindback only 11 seconds into the game.
The Canadiens lost a chance to take command early when Mark Barberio got four minutes for high-sticking Brian Gionta, but Lindback and the Lightning came up with the penalty kill.
The Lightning had perhaps their best period of the series in the second and tied the game at 8:39 on their first man advantage. A Stamkos shot went off Mike Weaver’s skate to Palat in the slot for his first playoff goal.
After seeing Subban prevent what looked like a Tampa Bay goal by batting the puck out of the air in the crease and then having a Tampa goal disallowed, Subban put on a show by taking the puck around the net and passing to Gallagher for his second of the series at 18:10.
Plekanec added to the lead 5:43 into the third when he threaded a shot through from the right circle, but Carle got it back at 11:36 on a point shot that looked to deflect off a body in front of Price.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper made four lineup changes, bringing in forwards Palat, Tom Pyatt and B.J. Crombeen and defenseman Barberio and scratching Sami Salo, Michael Kostka, Richard Panik and Nikita Kucherov. Salo reportedly has an upper body injury.
Montreal made no changes.
Notes: The Canadiens called up several players from AHL Hamilton, including goalies Dustin Tokarski and Devan Dubnyk, defensemen Nathan Beaulieu, Davis Drewiske and Greg Pateryn and forwards Sven Andrighetto, Mike Blundin, Gabriel Dumont, Louis Leblanc and Christian Thomas. ... Bourque’s goal was not a team record for fastest to start a game. Bo Gainey scored 7 seconds into a playoff game in 1977.