Rabid Habs

Canadiens vs. Lightning: Game #2

Habs' PK Subban

“I thought we did a lot of good things offensively and defensively. We’re playing against a high-powered offense and we did a good job of clogging up the middle of the ice, especially in the neutral zone. If one or two of those shots [which hit the post] went in it would have been a different game for us, so we’re just going to stick with what we’re doing.” – Tom Gilbert

After a two to one double overtime loss on Friday night, the Montreal Canadiens would be looking to even up the series in game two of round one against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night at the Bell Centre. The Habs took 44 shots on 85 shot attempts at Ben Bishop (with Brendan Gallagher leading the way with nine shots) and were only able to beat him once. With the shooting percentage watering down to 2.96% as despite playing a hard 60 minutes on the ice, the Canadiens need to find consistent scoring in order to have a stronger chance at advancing to round three, as well as taking advantage of each power play they receive. If the Habs can find that common ground and stick with the same confidence they had during Friday night’s match up, there might be a possibility that they can solve Ben Bishop and put and end to the dark storm ahead.

Jeff Petry opened up the first period with his first NHL playoff goal with just over 12 minutes left (assisted by Torrey Mitchell), giving the Habs their first goal of the night. The Lightning were able to respond back late with just 24 second left of the period from a Valtteri Filppula goal (assisted by Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn), ending the first period at a one to one tie. The Canadiens were able to kill off both power plays from two Brandon Prust penalties and despite the Lightning breaking through Carey Price, the Habs ended their solid period leading 14 to nine in shots.

12 minutes left of the second period and Steven Stamkos was able to put the puck on net for the Lighting, giving Tampa a one point lead against Montreal (assisted by Jason Garrison and Braydon Coburn), which was then followed by a three to one Lightning lead from a Nikita Kucherov power play goal with just seven minutes and 31 seconds left (assisted by Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos) and a second power play goal from Victor Hedman with 14 seconds left. The Canadiens essentially let the Lightning dominate the second period and with a three point advantage and two power play’s gone flat, Montreal would really have to work hard for a comeback in the third. The only “positive” of the period was that the Habs still ended up outshooting Tampa 19 to 18, but only by one shot.

A fourth power play of the night gave Tampa a fifth goal thanks to Nikita Kucherov (assisted by Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos) with a little over 13 minutes left on the clock. The Canadiens were struggling to gain any puck possession and were becoming slugglish on the ice. However, Tom Gilbert managed to put the puck behind Ben Bishop (assisted by Alexei Emelin and Devante Smith-Pelly) with eight minutes and 54 seconds left, giving the Habs just three more points needed to tie with Tampa. However, a five to two lead became a six to two lead as J.T. Brown put the puck behind Carey Price with three minutes and 55 seconds. Despite the Habs scrambling to get just one more point, Tampa Bay ended up taking home the six to two lead and a two game lead in round two.

The Montreal Canadiens face the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Amalie Arena on Wednesday at 7:00pm.

(Purchase your Canadiens tickets here. | Achetez vos billets des Canadiens ici.)

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @EarlxGreat.