Playoffs start on the road?
Your Montreal Canadiens won an overtime thriller on a goal by Dale Weise, of all people, 18 minutes into Overtime.
He was set up by Daniel Brière, who – true to his postseason pedigree – was superb in Game 1.
The Canadiens outshot Tampa Bay 44-25 and were full value for the win, despite blowing two third-period leads.
Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta, Lars Eller and Rhomas Vanek scored in regulation for the Canadiens.
The great Steven Stamkos had a pair for the home team, who also got goals from Nikita Kucherov and Montreal homeboy Alex Killorn.
Did you have him in your OT pool?
Dale Weise scored on the Canadiens' 44th shot of the game.
And Carey Price made nine big saves in OT.
Back and forth
Lars Eller gave the Canadiens their first lead of the game.
Two minutes later, Alex Killorn tied it at 3-3.
Then Thomas Vanek completed a great passing play with David Desharnais to make it 4-3.
That lead lasted less than two minutes.
Mistakes by Michäel Bournival and, crucially, Mike Weaver set Killorn off on a 2-on-1 that Stamkos completed.
Shots in the period were 13-5, and the Canadiens have a 35-16 advantage in the game.
On to OT.
Steven Stamkos went after Andrei Markov after a hit on Ondrej Palat, and the intesnity ramped up to playoff level.
Stamkos went end to end, beating Brandon Prust and Alexei Emelin, before firing a low shot that beat Carey Price to his stick side.
Then with P.K. Subban in the penalty box, Lars Eller sprang Brian Gionta and the captain tipped his own rebound past Anders Lindback.
Shots were 8-7 Canadiens, 22-11 on the game.
Many shots, one goal
Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring, as the Canadiens were flummoxed by a Radko Gudas shot that bounced off the dasher behind Carey Price.
The lead lasted 19 seconds.
Tomas Plekanec faked the aforementioned Gudas out of his cup and beat Anders Lindback with a roofed wrister.
The Canadiens had a 14-4 shots advantage but were inept on the game's only power play.
Here we go
The Canadiens playoff series against Ottawa last spring was nasty, brutish and short.
We can expect a better run against Tampa Bay this time around – if only because some of the younger Habs have been playoff-bloodied (in Lars Eller's case, literally). And the Lightning stress speed and skill, so the Canadiens likely will be spared the thuggery that Ottawa laid on them last year.
Based on the four games the Canadiens have played against Tampa Bay this season – three of which were won by the Lightning – it should be a tight series.
And, let's hope, a fun one to watch.
Puck drops 7:10ish.
Check back later for live game blogging.