Tight grip on series
The Canadiens fly home to Montreal Friday night with a stranglehold on their playoff series against tampa Bay.
Rene Bourque – !!!! – scored twice, and the Canadiens got a power play goal – !!!!! – from David Desharnais and a late on from Brendan Gallagher to craft a 4-0 lead before Teddy Purcell spoiled Carey Price's shutout.
Shots were 27-26 for the Lightning, who have a goaltending decision to make before Game 3 on Sunday at the Bell Centre.
The Latvian Legend, Krister Gudlevskis?
How do you protect "the most dangerous lead in hockey"?
By making it 4-0.
Breandan Gallagher drove Anders Lindback from the Tampa Bay net and Rene Bourque, with his second of the game, greeted the Latvian Legend, Kristers Gudlevskis.
With the goalie on the bench and TB on a power play, Teddy Purcell spoiled Carey Price's shutout bid.
PP and RB
David Desharnais cashed a shot-pass by P.K. Subban for the Canadiens' first power play goal since Pauline Marois was premier of Quebec.
Then a great Thomas Vanek pass sent Rene Bourque in to slip one past Anders Lindback, who missed a poke-check.
Brandon Prust won his fight against Radko Gudas.
Carey Price made a brilliant save on Cedric Paquette in close.
And the Canadiens had a 9-8 shot advantage.
A scoreless first period included Anders Lindback making breakaway saves on Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty.
The Canadiens wasted a double-minor to Steven Stamkos by having Too Many Men on the ice during yet another inept power play.
The PP is 0-for-27.
Home team had an 11-10 shot edge.
More of the same, svp
Your Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay cooked up 78 minutes of very entertaining hockey in the series opener.
After three of their four regular-season games ended in 2-1 Overtimes or Shootouts (the fourth was 3-1, with an empty-netter), the Canadiens and Lightning combined for nine goals – the last of which was scored by unlikely hero Dale Weise.
Michel Therrien was able to roll four fairly effective lines, and no fewer than 11 Canadiens made it onto the scoresheet.
There were, however, some anxious moments on the back end. And Carey Price was beaten four times on 16 shots in regulation time – before making nine saves in OT.
It's a safe Game 2 bet the Lightning will start fast as they try to avoid an 0-2 series hole heading back to Montreal for Game 3 on Sunday.
• There's something about playoff hockey on Good Friday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcihnPoh2EY