Liveblog: Playoff game 3 – Canadiens win a tight one, take 3-0 series lead

EllerTB

Stranglehold

The Canadiens scored early and hung on late to take a commanding 3-0 lead in this quarter-final series.

Rene Bourque, who's been sensational, opened the scoring 11 seconds into the game. And the Canadiens dominated the first 10 minutes of the opening period.

But Tampa Bay didn't quit.

A power-play goal by Ondrej Palat tied it and Ryan Callahan had a go-ahead goal waved off when the zebras called Alex Killorn for interference on Carey Price.

Brendan Gallagher restored the Canadiens' lead, capping a brilliant play by P.K. Subban at the end of the second period.

The sublime Tomas Plekanec scored less than six minutes into the third, but the visitors got a Matthew Carle goal to make it 3-2 and set up a tense final eight minutes.

The Canadiens go for the sweep Tuesday night.

Plekanec scores a big one

Tomas Plekanec, playing a brilliant 200-foot series, cashed a pass from Brandon Prust to give the Canadiens a 3-1 lead early in the period.

Over, right?

Wrong.

The Lightning got a Matthew Carle point-shot goal at 11:36 to set up a very hairy final eight-plus minutes.

Crazy stuff

An Ondrej Palat power-play goal, scored with dismaying ease, got Tampa Bay back into the game.

Then controversy.

With the Canadiens in total disarray, a Ryan Callahan shot found its way into the net.

But it was waved off on the dubious call that Alex Killorn had somehow interfered with Price.

Late-period heroics by P.K. Subban set up Brendan Gallagher for a go-ahead goal that came against the flow of play.

The Lightning had a 12-7 shot advantage.

Who is that number 17?

It took Rene Bourque all of 11 seconds to get the Canadiens on the board.

The Conn Smythe candidate was sprung by a superb P.K. Subban pass.

Shortly theereafter, the Canadiens had a four-minute power-play.

The visitors settled down as the period progressed, but the Canadiens had a 13-8 shot advantage.

 

Desperate visitors

Having dropped the first two games of the series on home ice, Tampa Bay needs a win in Game 3.

But the Bell Centre, one of the NHL's more raucous venues, will be rockin' and rollin' in support of the hometown Canadiens.

The atmosphere should be electric on Easter Sunday evening, as the Canadiens marketing mavens promise pre-game playoff pyrotechnics to pump up the capacity crowd.

Through their long and (mostly) glorious history, the Canadiens are 49-5 in playoff series they've led 2-0. But they have managed to squander three of the last four 2-0 series leads.

It should be a good one.

Puck drops 7:10ish.

Check back later for live game blogging.

1,219 Comments

  1. AliHaba says:

    Another major coaching error by Cooper. Calling timeout with the faceoff in his end. He would have loved to have had it with 34 seconds left when the faceoff was in the Habs’ end.

  2. twilighthours says:

    In case y’all forgot: PK Subban.

    I rest my case.

  3. UKRAINIANhab says:

    I Love you MT. Lmao

  4. The Teacher says:

    K so I guess it’s game 4 we lose. Habs in 5

  5. Da Hema says:

    The only thing that Healy was right about is Lindback going to the ice all the time. If the Habs just shot higher like Plekenac did, the score would have been 6-2 or 7-2.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Dude, Healy is wrong about EVERYTHING!

      Every goalie goes to his knees to take away the bottom, watch Niemi and Quick right now, watch Price, it’s the new goaltending style

      _______________________________________
      Jack Edwards is a clam.
      Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.
      The “CH” in CHOKE stands for Toronto Maple Leafs.

  6. Congrats to Team Canada says:

    What the … happened against Ottawa last year. This is madness. However it proves how much your number 1 goalie means to your franchise. With Bishop this series would have been different.

  7. frontenac1 says:

    Butch Bouchard Jr on AC amigos.

  8. 24 Cups says:

    HI/O fans love to complain about all the bad calls that go against their beloved Habs but that disallowed goal against Tampa was one of the worst calls I have ever seen. When it’s all said and done, that may well just decide the series.

    24.2 Cups

    • twilighthours says:

      Kerry Fraser thinks it was the right call.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Kerry Fraser, Hab Hater Extraordinaire, says the call was correct.

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • boing007 says:

      It’s in the Rule Book.

      Richard R

    • The Jackal says:

      Sorry 24, gotta disagree with you. Ron MacLean explained it well on CBC, it’s how the rule is interpreted and also how it is written in the rulebook, the ref made the right call. I don’t think we lucked out as far as having a bad call be made in our favour. If we did luck out on that call, it was because the refs actually made the right call – how many times do they let goalie interference like that go?

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Da Hema says:

      Listening to the rule itself, and that both McLean and Kerry Fraser insist it was the right call, I think it is hard to claim it was “one of the worst calls ever seen.” That’s a lot of hyperbole my friend.

    • punkster says:

      Respectfully disagree. Somebody quotes rule 69.3 below and if you check it out it would seem to apply. Either way it’s done.

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Stand corrected until the next time a dubious call goes against the Habs and HI/O explodes with anguish and lamentation.

      The Habs dodged a major bullet on a rather iffy call by the ref. If it had gone the other way, this site would have suffered a major meltdown. That one non goal may well have just decided the series.

      24.2 Cups

      • twilighthours says:

        What’s your take on the puck bork put in the net on delayed penalty, Steve? Tampa never had control of the puck. That one should have been a goal.

  9. Da Hema says:

    Tough to tinker with a lineup that has taken a 3-0 lead, but might I suggest playing Tinordi next game? The kid could use some more playoff experience.

  10. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Bourque …who ??? could have known ?

    …not Me, for sure

    …the most pleasant of pleasant surprises

  11. Prop says:

    Man oh man, I’d love to be downtown celebrating.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  12. The_Truth says:

    Without checking was the the last Habs Playoff Sweep Buffalo in 1993? I think so.

    • smiler2729 says:

      I think you’re right.

      _______________________________________
      Jack Edwards is a clam.
      Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.
      The “CH” in CHOKE stands for Toronto Maple Leafs.

  13. Psycho29 says:

    GREAT WIN BOYS!!!!

    Kerry Fraser‏ @kfraserthecall ·1 hr
    Correct call on disallowed goal! 69.3 if goalkeeper in act of establishing his position within crease, initiates contact with an attacking

  14. Harditya says:

    GO HABS GO!

  15. AceMagnum says:

    This bodes well for a long playoff run. Usually we kill ourselves in a 7 game first rounder and by the time we get to the second or third we’re gassed. If we can finish this puppy off Tuesday it’ll be like we only need to win three rounds for the big prize this year.

    Last time we swept the first round was ’89 against Hartford….lets do this thing!

    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  16. Habfun says:

    Man life’s good!!

    It’s all about the CH

  17. slapshot777 says:

    This was probably PK best game of the series.

  18. boing007 says:

    Winning by committee, with total commitment.

    Richard R

  19. scuba says:

    the other three series in the east are 1-1. Keep beating the hell out of each other please.

  20. UKRAINIANhab says:

    This will be a sweep. No doubt friends!

  21. The Jackal says:

    Great win by the Habs. Again, it was a great team effort.
    I thought the waved off goal was a bit lucky but that is actually in the interference rule and it was the right call.
    The last minutes with a one goal lead were very stressful to watch but I thought we maintained our poise and controlled the game, that’s the experience factor working for us.
    So happy to see us lead the series 3-0 and show such a cohesive effort. Very happy as well to see guys like PK, Eller, and Bourque find a new gear despite struggling at times this year. It’s great we are getting so much secondary scoring – our top line has not found the net as much as it does (still has some goals) and it’s excellent that other guys are stepping up.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • HardHabits says:

      My initial feelings about the disallowed goal were iffy until I heard the rule read to me. Total phew nevertheless.

      You can’t take away the goals Montreal scored though. All clean and without any doubt… all goal scorer’s goals.

      The game’s in the books. Case closed.

  22. twilighthours says:

    Bork is out best player. It is bizarro world.

  23. slapshot777 says:

    It would be nice for the Habs to finish off Tampa in a sweep and get some rest. One of the keys to going deep is to get series finished as early as possible. Get rest and get those nicks healed up.

  24. aversglay says:

    I saw cooper talk about the habs after game 1. He said that they are not that good of a hockey team, that the lightning just has to play better. Perhaps this is one area where they are lacking. This team got a lot better (a few games) the trade deadline. The lightning finished ahead of MTL in the standing, but they should have been told to try to play up to our level.

  25. smiler2729 says:

    I’ve said it a million times here, man, Plekanec RARELY wins important faceoffs.

    _______________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.
    The “CH” in CHOKE stands for Toronto Maple Leafs.

    • Mad Habber says:

      In my opinion, Habs suffer big time form not having a good face-off man. It seems like they always lose key draws, and it would be interesting to see stats form the time Tampa started playing better and I’m guessing you see face-off stats shifting in their favour.

      • smiler2729 says:

        Pleks is out there because he’s strong defensively but dammit, win a freakin’ big faceoff once in a while, it’ll make your job easier.

        _______________________________________
        Jack Edwards is a clam.
        Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.
        The “CH” in CHOKE stands for Toronto Maple Leafs.

  26. Marc10 says:

    Solid work. Great game by the Red, White and Blue. Always tough to close out teams that are desperate. Let’s make it a clean sweep.

    13 to go.

    Go Habs Go!

  27. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …orgasm !

    …NOTHING better :)

    …….

  28. twilighthours says:

    Okanagan springs winter ale.

    Done and done.

  29. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Can we all take a minute: 2 words Tomas Plekanec

  30. Mondou6 says:

    NBC still crying bitterly over the refs, and “bad breaks”. Hahaha! Catering to those 3 Tampa fans who are watching the game on TV, I guess.

    • ffenliv says:

      Tampa is actually a non-traditional market success story. They’ve got a cup, and are top-10 in NHL average attendance. They’re having a bad go of it this year, but without Price, I can’t imagine we’d do too well.

      I don’t get mocking another team’s fans.

      • smiler2729 says:

        You don’t get mocking another team’s fans??? You ever been harassed by those LAFF NATION idiots??

        _______________________________________
        Jack Edwards is a clam.
        Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.
        The “CH” in CHOKE stands for Toronto Maple Leafs.

        • ffenliv says:

          No more than they’ve been harassed by Habs fan. People want to believe that they’re somehow special. A few highlights that pop up around here all the time: Our team is special because of its history; Leafs fans are all [insert playground insult here], Ottawa/Toronto/Boston benefit from league bias; the CBC hates us!

          As much as being pissed of by another team’s fans might rile you up, trust me, they’ve had it, too. People here pride themselves on cheering for a team with such a large, varied, and widespread fan base. There’s no way that large group of fans isn’t being assholes to other groups.

          • twilighthours says:

            It is special to cheer for the Habs, more so than other teams, I believe that.

            The rest, I agree with you

          • smiler2729 says:

            I only mock Leaf fans.

            _______________________________________
            Jack Edwards is a clam.
            Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.
            The “CH” in CHOKE stands for Toronto Maple Leafs.

          • Mondou6 says:

            - The Habs have the most passionate support of any team in the NHL, no other team is in 2nd place. So we’re not “special because of our history”, but to pretend that Tampa is into the Bolts as Montreal is into the Habs is patently ridiculous, I’m sorry.

            - No comment on Toronto, or their fans.

            - The Bruins absolutely enjoy league bias, given the Bruin ties all over the league office and TV broadcasts. 90% of broadcasters are former Bruins, and Cherry wears a Bruins tie on HNI*Canada*.

            - CBC absolutely does hate Montreal, not sure what channel you’ve been watching.

          • ffenliv says:

            Fans in Toronto, in my experience, also loathe the CBC and think they have it in for their team. So, step back and realize it’s probably just fans seeing what they need to see to get their emotional fix.

            I refuse to believe in any sort of systemic league bias. If there is, why bother watching?

            And I didn’t say Tampa had a similar number of passionate fans. I said they have more than the 11 fans that guy was joking about. They pull over 18,000 to their rink per game, and average 97.5% attendance throughout the year. Sure we’ve got a bigger rink, and sell out all the time, but that doesn’t take away from what I said.

      • twilighthours says:

        This “Tampa has no fans” nonsense is just that. Nonsense. I’ve been to many a game there, a family member works for the team… This is just silly. The team has fans and is stable.

        • Mondou6 says:

          Oh my god, ok already…I issue a sincere apology to the legion of rabid Tampa Bay Lightning fans out there.

          As a matter of fact, I’ll give them all a ride to Game 4. My car is a 2-seater, but it should be big enough. :)

          • twilighthours says:

            I’ve got me a Chrysler, seats about 20, so hurry up and bring your juke box money.

          • ffenliv says:

            Heh, I wasn’t meaning to make you feel like I was jumping on you. It’s part of a category of comments I react poorly to, and often fail to moderate my internal response before it becomes external.

  31. piter says:

    It’s nice to be on the right end of a ref’s call for a change. Feels pretty darn good. Just not used to it.

  32. johnnylarue says:

    I know they’re all important this time of year, but this win is LARGE.

    A loss would have put all the pressure back on the Habs for home game #2. This is an infinitely better situation.

  33. Bash says:

    Gutsy win! Bourque is on fire; shoot the puck man!

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  34. PrimeTime says:

    3P 1:23 Just remember what happened in St.Louis

    The fatalist master!

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  35. naweed235 says:

    Boom like that!

    Also, guess who sits when Chucky is back? Chucky sits. That’s who

  36. slapshot777 says:

    Well Cooper, I don’t believe the Habs have lost a series after being up 3-0. Lesson you should never give a team any bulletin board material.

  37. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Mine *Bork **Price ***plekanec

  38. Habilis says:

    3-0 series lead? This is just bananas.

  39. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    T – Minus 13 wins
    :)

  40. Fansincebirth says:

    WOW…..

  41. UKRAINIANhab says:

    High five everyone!!!!!!

  42. Dust says:

    huge win boys. lets finish them next game

  43. shrack says:

    *gallagher
    **subban
    *** bourque

  44. Jdub1985 says:

    Pleks won the last face off – very crutial – he lost the previous 3

  45. HardHabits says:

    Stranger things have happened. But a win is a win. Let the conspiracy theories bound.

  46. Rugger says:

    Without a doubt, the best display of fore checking I have seen from a Habs team in decades!

  47. aversglay says:

    P.K. second? He got the first two gaols.

  48. HabsKid says:

    Whoooo Hooooo!

  49. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Whew!!!!!!! I can breath again! They deserved it, but, credit Tampa and even Lindback for keeping it close! Go Habs!

  50. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Great!

  51. trolly says:

    Don’t forget to bring the brooms on Tuesday night.

  52. danhabsfan says:

    Wow… That was closer than it should have been. Habs need to capatilize on their chances.

  53. Peter Young says:

    Well done to the entire team. Will someone let me know who the three stars are please. NBC won’t do it. Thank you.

  54. sCOTT1243 says:

    This team has taken it to another level. Love it.

  55. duffy says:

    Screw you COOPER !!!!!!!!

  56. Mondou6 says:

    Tampa played better, but still not good enough. They were lucky this wasn’t 6-2.

  57. RockinRey says:

    Habs came to play tonight. That first period was unreal!!

    LOOk forward to ALN tomorrow 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

  58. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Awesome

  59. Storman says:

    Bolts competed tonight big time,, but Habs the Better team

  60. Danno says:

    PK Bourque and Price

    Not necessarily in that order

    ________________________________________

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

  61. durocher says:

    Good win — thank you refs and Forum Gods

  62. habsfaninboston says:

    Yeah baby!

  63. CH Marshall says:

    huge sigh of relief

  64. johnnylarue says:

    SWEETNESS.

  65. StevieM61 says:

    yesssssssssssssssss
    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  66. sCOTT1243 says:

    yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  67. Et le but says:

    Win the draw!!!

  68. Mondou6 says:

    Holy crap, can someone please touch the puck again?

  69. RockinRey says:

    Hanging on for dear life!!!!

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘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

  70. Storman says:

    Weise big block

  71. sCOTT1243 says:

    Thata boy Price

  72. johnnylarue says:

    Hughson is great when he’s not being a Leafs homer. ;)

  73. RockinRey says:

    Get it out!!!!

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘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


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