Liveblog: Game 77 – Playoff preview? Let’s hope not. Lightning win easily


Misleading score

Until Alex Killorn's empty-netter, it looked like the fourth 2-1 game of the season between these teams.

But if it weren't for Carey Price's brilliance, Tampa Bay would have won 6-1.

Brendan Gallagher opened the scoring with his 19th and the Canadiens played a strong first period.

But the home team dominated the final 40 minutes, getting goals by Ryan Callahan, Tyler Johnson (shorthanded) and an empty-netter by Montreal native Alex Killorn.

Carey Price made 30 saves and was the game's First Star.

The Canadiens had 26 shots on Ben Bishop.

The win lifted Tampa Bay past the Canadiens into second place in the Atlantic Division.

Good news: Losses by Washington and New Jersey clinched a playoff berth for the CH.

Bad news: Douglas Murray almost certainly will be suspended for a late-game elbow on Mike Kostka.

Shortie is winner

With the Canadiens on a power play, the puck skipped on Andrei Markov and onto the stick of Tyler Johnson, who beat Carey Price to break a 1-1 tie.

Alex Killorn's empty-netter made it 3-1.

Lightning outshot the Canadiens 12-6, 33-26 on the game.

One scored, one disallowed

Taking advantage of a screw-up at the Canadiens blueline, Ryan Callahan lifted a backhander past Carey Price during a Tampa Bay power play.

Price later made a miraculous save on Teddy Purcell.

Purcell scored at the end of the period, but the goal was disallowed because J.T. Brown was in the crease and interfered with Price.

Replay showed no interference.

Another great night for Chris Lee.

Shots were 11-10 for the home team.

CH break on top

Teddy Purcell hit the goal post behind Carey Price, and the Canadiens goaltender made five frantic stops during a hectic sequence.

Canadiens took almost seven minutes to get their first shot on goal.

But the only goal of the period was scored by Brendan Gallagher, who got his 19th by tipping a loose puck past Ben Bishop.

Shots were 10-10.

Playoff preview?

It's likely the Canadiens and Tampa Bay will hook up in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Still to be determined is home-ice advantage.

The Tuesday tilt is a classic four-pointer: Canadiens sit second in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of TB, but the Lightning have a game in hand. Both teams have been hot in their last 10: The Canadiens are 8-2, TB 7-1-2.

This is the last regular-season game between the teams. All three meetings to date have gone to Overtime, and two were decided by Shootouts. TB has been on the long end of two of the 2-1 final scores.

We're talkin' tight, and this should be a good one.

Likely Lightning lines: Purcell-Stamkos-Brown, Palat-Filppula-Callahan, Killorn-Johnson-Kucherov, Malone-Thompson-Crombeen.

For the Canadiens, Lars Eller has moved onto the third line with Daniel Brière and Brian Gionta. Rene Bourque is bumped down to the fourth line with Ryan White and Michäel Bournival.

Puck drops 7:40ish.

Check back later for live game blogging.


  1. Mr_MacDougall says:

    It was a Florida vacation.. No biggie.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  2. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Meh, should have expected this.. If I were a Hab I’d have been hitting the beach, meeting some pretty women, having a few drinks.. Last thing on my mind would have been the game until game time.. Then it’s too late.. This was a vacation for the boys!

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  3. The Jackal says:

    Why trolls, why? Go away, everyone on HIO was having a grand old time for the past week and a bit. Just go on and get. There’s no room fer yer kind here, no room for trollin’ or idiotic drivel. Go on. Get!

    • slapshot777 says:

      They come out like a plague. Then when the Habs win they look for the slimiest rock to go back under. You don’t hear from them again until the next loss.

  4. Ozmodiar says:

    Dang, these comments…

    This thread needs to be ‘Primetimed’!!

  5. Black Horse says:

    Lets see what Vanek & Mr. Playoffs (Briere) will do in round one.

  6. Chris says:

    On a day where Chris Pronger discussed his ongoing battle with concussion symptoms almost two years after leaving the game, Douglas Murray throws an absolutely disgraceful elbow right to the face of Mike Kostka.

    What the hell was he thinking? If I’m the commissioner, he’s gone for the rest of the season and all of the first round. Absolutely no place in the game for an intentional shot to the face of a player.

    • Black Horse says:

      Well then Chara should have been gone as well. We don’t know what Murray was thinking.

      • Chris says:

        Seriously, why do people have to bring up a Bruin or Flyer every single time something happens? Are we that insecure?

        That was a brutal, stupid play. Full stop.

        I couldn’t care less whether guys have been suspended or not on previous hits. That one was ugly. If we’re going to piss and moan when a Hab gets a cheap shot, then we’d better be willing to call out our own when they are the guilty party.

        • sane hockey fan says:

          Couldn’t have said it better myself! I know we’re fans, but a little objectivity please! That hit was disgraceful!

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Your suggestion was wayyyyyyy too long based in NHL standards.. I agree though.. A player can only receive a hit like that a couple times in a career, but for some reason can deliver a seemingly unlimited amount of cheap hits.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Chris says:

            Oh I agree…the NHL will give him 3-5 games. I just don’t think that is enough.

            As you said, that kind of hit can easily end a player’s career. The punishment for this kind of crap needs to be much, much harsher than it has been.

    • ProHabs says:

      Those types of hits should only be allowed against Bruins. Murray will get 3 games.

    • frontenac1 says:

      2-5 games. Nice rest before the playoffs.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Right on Chris! get this stuff out of the game!

  7. kalevine says:

    I missed the game but from the comments you’d think we lost the war. This was a practically meaningless contest. Of course, my level headedness might have to do with missing the game. I did see Murray’s hit and was shocked as it was so out of character for him. He usually uses his core to lay waste to an opponent. He should get a few games for sure

  8. punkster says:


    Release the Subbang!!!

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    Borque and Eller on the same line! phone line to other GM’s

  10. Lil Snapper says:

    The hit by Murray was a hockey move!

  11. Black Horse says:

    Don’t worry, MT told us last spring that the Habs were ready for the playoffs. How did that turn out? I am not negative just a realist.

  12. jols says:

    Unbelievable game on TSN 2. Flyers/Blues. 0-0 in OT. End to end action.

  13. w.p.d says:

    So, Murray gone so we can expect a whole lot more go the Cube. Oh yeah !

  14. boing007 says:

    Dissolve Cube.

    Richard R

  15. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    There is no reason for Lars Eller being in the line-up. Tonight should be his last game with the Habs, no matter what the Eller apologists say.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  16. 24AW says:

    Lazy 3rd period cost them a point as well as the game, the better team won, play like that in the playoffs and TB will put them out in 6

  17. Samovich says:

    better safe than sorry with potential head injuries. Some people are just insane!

  18. This loss was expected. Back in September they looked at the Florida trip….golf, sun, fun, drinks, and boom, here’s your result. The organization didn’t care about this game and it happens like this every year, only thing different is we didn’t get swept like we usually do.

    But the referees were on crack tonight, much worse than other nights.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • slapshot777 says:

      Especially more so with Lee. He looks for any call hee can make against the Habs. He will even make it up if he got to. Tonight he is determined to give Tampa that interference goal only for the other three officials. A few years back when Gomez was on the team and we played the Rangers, Gomez scored with time on the clock and he waved it off and would not even go look at the review to see if there was actual time he just waved it off and the Habs lost the game.

  19. w.p.d says:

    Funny how that stretcher was on the ice as quick as it was. Funny when he got up and skated to the bench. Funny eh ?

  20. jmac21 says:

    PJ will be fine tonight LEAFS WON

  21. Danno says:

    PJ Crotch the Village Idiot is speaking


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  22. CHicoHab says:

    Bournival is special. Not deserved of fourth line. Bork belongs off the team. Boullion needs sit. Now with Murray gone (assuming suspended) Tinordi is back in. I’d give Bealieu a look to replace The Cube.

    • slapshot777 says:

      1-2 games max for Murray. No history, plus Tampa player had his head down. Should have had it up. I remember when Malone hit Campoli Shanahan never gave Malone a suspension, reason was Campoli leaned into it.

  23. Black Horse says:

    If the Habs are not going to give Bishop trouble in front of his net & go top shelf with every shot then early exit!

    • Mavid says:

      yep I think we got that horse..your repeating yourself…we get it don’t think we will win the round..thanks..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • wings says:

      Murray should get 2 or 3..if that were Boston and Lucic maybe 1 or none..Tiny should be the pair Murray and Weaver great on the PKill..really miss Prust and Weiss,, Bourny was skating for the little time he got..Marky had bad night looked very tired..

      GO HABS GO!!

  24. twilighthours says:

    In summary…..

    -habs did not deserve to be in that game. PP continues to suck hard.

    -someone here mentioned that Chris Lee has never worked a playoff game. After that atrocious performance, he shouldn’t

    -Well, I’d say the stage has been set for a nice long playoff series. Animosity has entered the building.

    -Murray…. what the frig, man? Ugly.

    -We need Gorges back in the biggest way. Stick him with PK and we’ve got a legit top 4.

    -The fowards all stunk up the joint tonight. Gallagher has got to pass to Galchenyuk on that two on one!

    -Despite this beating we took, I love our chances against this team. It’s a lunch-pail group, and it’s not even that good. I’m feeling confident.

    • Black Horse says:

      In summary….. Carey Price deserved this game!

    • Congrats to Team Canada says:

      If Tampa is lunch-pail what does that make the habs.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      I don’t know. Our continuing lack of secondary scoring and, as you pointed out, impotent power play doesn’t bode well for post-season success. We saw what happens when that top line gets shut down. Sure Pleks and the kids got one, but Galchenyuk MUST find his groove SOON.

      Meanwhile having Eller and Briere together makes zero sense to me. When the injured troops are backed, Eller should be sat in the box, and Prust or Weise should be moved up.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  25. B says:

    So, Tampa couldn’t score 5 on 5.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  26. jmac21 says:

    They are down a player because they can’t handle the speed lol
    Bye bye home ice

  27. Ian Cobb says:

    Tonight! the better and more disciplined team won big time!!
    If not for Price and his goal post’s, the score would have been 6 to 1.

    If that kind of play comes from sitting in the Florida sunshine, the boys should get on the plane tonight!!

    Very poor show and little skating effort tonight!! Murray gone for 10 games! And he should be!

  28. boing007 says:

    Better bring up Beaulieu. The D was horrible tonight.

    Richard R

    • wings says:

      HABS looked like they were at the beach or golf course all day, no jump and poor finish..only D that showed up was Weaver and Murray,tough break for Crank his game was solid..Price looked very good, 1st goal was weak however..PK tooo much dancing on the blueline with nothing to the net, shoot the freakin puck..most forwards were no shows tonight..pleky had a few chances but no touch or over the BISHOP really that good or what..
      Tampa will be a tough test in playoffs we slept through this one, get your ASS to Ottawa and show up..

      GO HABS GO!!

      GO HABS GO!!

  29. w.p.d says:

    Rather play Boston in the first round.

  30. habs001 says:

    The same posters who think this was a nothing hit would have a totally different view on it if the hit was on a Hab player

  31. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nice message sent by Murray, Price played well. That game could have gone either way. Move onto the the next. Playoffs in a couple weeks?

    Glad Murray threw that hit instead of Malone or Gudas on a Habs player.

  32. Danno says:

    Playoffs baby!!!


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  33. w.p.d says:

    Oh crap, PJ Sock is on L’antichambre

  34. Coach K says:

    Price…outstanding. The rest of the team…just standing.

    Not playoff ready yet with that kind of effort. A desperate Sens team won’t be any easier. Just not good enough tonight and that goes for the coaching staff too. They clearly didn’t have any answers for what Tampa brought.

    —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

  35. jmac21 says:

    I’ll call it after another couple days of MT on the Beach!!! Ottawa are gonna hammer us
    Give them a day of COY lol
    Maybe get the ice and play Baseball COY lol

  36. habs001 says:

    Some of the comments on the Murray hit are no different than Bruin fan posts…Shows every team has really biased and blind fans…

  37. habs-fan-84 says:

    That hit was reckless, but not dirty. When I hear dirty I think: premeditated attempt to injure using illegal tactics (if necessary) – I don’t see that here with Murray. Murray does that same hit multiple times a game (where his arms come up and almost pushes opponents), ordinarily he makes legal contact. Unfortunately, tonight he missed and made contact with Kostka’s head. It was reckless, but I don’t think intentional, and thus not dirty.

    Nevertheless, Murray will, and should get a few games. Tinordi draws in for the final stretch.

  38. Ozmodiar says:

    Glad that’s over.

    Let the ref bashing begin, um, continue.

  39. Storman says:

    Douglas Murray with the old chicken wing hit,, not as bad as i first thought though

  40. AH says:

    Habs couldn’t handle Tampa’s speed all night. Price is going to have to stand on his head for them to beat these guys.

    Even so, thanks DD for that awesome playmaking on the powerplay.

  41. w.p.d says:

    Habs did not deserve to win and they didn’t . End of story, on to the next.

  42. gumper says:

    Honestly don’t know how anyone can blame the refs or the coach for this loss. Smarter to blame it on the extended stay in the land of sun and inexpensive alcohol.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

  43. CHicoHab says:

    To me looks like Murray wanted to lean into the guy as he usually takes out forwards but somehow decided all elbow rather than shoulder. Pretty dumb and not the norm. Hopefully Kostka recovers. As for Murray I imagine he’s done for reg season.

  44. Storman says:

    Aloe Vera did not help our skating tonight..

  45. JUST ME says:

    Why is it that every time Chris Lee is within the group of refs, confusion looms on the games ? Not that the Habs got robbed but still doesn`t the league see that it`s more of a mayhem when he is working ?

  46. Max says:

    These guys have been soaking in the sun all week.They got soft and unfocused.They should be flying back to Montreal after the game and get in a few solid practices in preparation for Ottawa.Why are they going to continue lounging in the sun all week after such a game?Lots of weaknesses to work on.

  47. jmac21 says:

    And Let’s talk MT record in the playoffs lol
    BRUTAL COY SIT ON A 1-0 Lead

  48. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    All the people who pretend they know what’s going to happen before it happens are just suffering from existential angst. Embrace the uncertainties! Live!

  49. The Jackal says:

    Queue the trolls after a two week absence.

  50. slapshot777 says:

    Habs had too much time in the sun and got lazy. They always have hard games when they come here for a few days and they have been here now for 3-4 days and won’t leave until Thursday.

  51. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Besides Price, nothing good about our performance tonite.

  52. Black Horse says:

    One goal? Wow! That must be over 20 games scoring 2 goals or less?

    Price will need to get a shutout every game to beat Tampa. OK!

  53. habsfaninboston says:

    TB deserved to win this one. We didn’t show up after the 1st period.

  54. bsamsona says:

    Therein. 3 more yrs. I have to shake my he’d

  55. duffy says:

    If Murray was going to put someone out he could have at least put out a more valuable player ?

  56. Storman says:

    Tinordi in for Murray suspension,,, but please Call up Pateryn or Beaulieu to replace Frankie Boo Cue, he is horrible..

  57. Slackman says:

    Great. All the negative idiots who say the habs are gonna lose before every game are gonna crawl out from under their rocks saying ‘told you so’ to as many people that can grab.

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      oh shut up

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      you thought Habs played well in the 2nd and 3rd period?

    • wings says:

      HABS looked like they were at the beach or golf course all day, no jump and poor finish..only D that showed up was Weaver and Murray,tough break for Crank his game was solid..Price looked very good, 1st goal was weak however..PK tooo much dancing on the blueline with nothing to the net, shoot the freakin puck..most forwards were no shows tonight..pleky had a few chances but no touch or over the BISHOP really that good or what..
      Tampa will be a tough test in playoffs we slept through this one, get your ASS to Ottawa and show up..

      GO HABS GO!!

  58. HabsPooch says:

    I think this is a wake up call for the Habs. This is not going to be an easy series at all. Our defense has been bailed out by price over and over again. Tampa completely outplayed them the second half of the game. Markov was brutal at times.

  59. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Cya guys tommorow

  60. BobbySmithWasClutch says:

    Wow, TB looked good tonight. Uh oh

  61. danhabsfan says:

    The ref stood the and watchd White get elbowed in the hug head… Useless

  62. slapshot777 says:

    Rather lose to Tampa now and win in the playoffs.

  63. jmac21 says:

    Lol yeah they are coached great lol
    This team gets out coached
    A game like this against a team your gonna play in the playoffs and this is the effort lol
    Coach of The Year !!!!

    • gumper says:

      Really? How do you coach a team to skate faster and not make turnovers. Every now and then you have to blame the players not the coach. Either these guys were playing hangover hockey or they started to believe their own publicity. Either way, that was a stinker they laid down tonight.

      The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
      Mark Twain

  64. habs001 says:

    Reality this game has little meaning for the playoff series…but if Tampa beats the Habs in the playoffs than major changes have to be made…this Habs team is not a young team that we can say will get better next year from the playoff experience…Without free agent signings or trades it is very hard to say that the forwards next year on the team will get better..

    • Black Horse says:

      I will take this series for that.

    • CJ says:

      The organization prefers the veterans. Plain and simple. Trust I’m told. Makes sense. Further, fact is many members of this forum advocate for Gionta, Weaver, Murray and Markov to be resigned. I can’t see Bergevin moving Briere. Rumour is that he was Molson’s guy.

      I’m sure I’m in the minority, but in the absence of size, we don’t have players that chip the puck past the opposition’s defence and lay the body. As a result, we are the ones getting hit. Magnify that over 82 games plus playoffs and it’s no wonder Markov is beaten down. More than 50% of the commentariat want to award him with a three year extension.

      Anyway, I can’t argue with the results right?

  65. UKRAINIANhab says:

    O well 🙁

  66. RockinRey says:

    Boy habs have to do some reflecting . Not a good show.

    LOok forward to ALN Boone.

    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  67. HotHabs says:

    This game was over a long time ago

  68. danhabsfan says:

    I like Murray, although I don’t understand that hit. He will be missed if he is out long.

  69. Slackman says:

    wow this Killorn guy is really talented. He’s cheering and whooping and yelling because he beat one of the best goalies in the – oh wait.

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

    • twilighthours says:

      He sealed the deal on a statement game. You begrudge him that?

    • nickster13 says:

      I went to High School with him, same class and everything. He was always a bit of a goofball, class-clown personality
      –not that that means he shouldn’t celebrate, just giving you a little anecdote.

      “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

  70. Sportfan says:

    Unless Bishop is hurt don’t expect an easy series

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  71. boing007 says:

    Too much fun in the sun.

    Richard R

  72. Bim says:

    I’ll bet Murray gets 5 games for that rather large elbow. How stupid can you be? Looks like they’ll be starting on the road.

  73. CJ says:

    Sorry, but PK and Frankie are having themselves a doozy tonight.

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