Habs will open playoff series Wednesday night in Tampa

The Canadiens will open their first-round playoff series against the Lightning on the road Wednesday night in Tampa Bay.

The Lightning clinched home-ice advantage with a 1-0 shootout win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Lightning (46-27-9) finished the season with 101 points, one more than the Canadiens (46-28-8) to take second place in the Atlantic Division.

Lightning goalie Anders Lindback made 18 saves for the shutout and Matt Carle scored in the shootout to give Tampa Bay the victory. The Capitals and Alex Ovechkin will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Ovechkin, who was stopped on his shootout attempt Sunday, finishes the season with a league-leading 51 goals to go along with a minus-35.

Here’s a look at the schedule for the Lightning-Canadiens series:

Game 1: Wednesday, April 16 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, April 18 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 20 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 22 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday April 24 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 6 (if necessary): Sunday, April 27 at Montreal, TBD
Game 7 (if necessary): Tuesday, April 29 at Tampa, TBD.

All the games will be televised on CBC and RDS and be on TSN Radio 690.

Captain Brian Gionta’s shootout goal in overtime Saturday night at the Bell Centre gave the Canadiens a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers in their final regular-season game. It also allowed the Canadiens to finish the season with 100 points, their highest total since finishing first in the Eastern Conference in 2007-08 with 104 points.

The Canadiens were given the day off Sunday and will practise at 11 a.m. Monday in Brossard as they prepare for the playoffs.

 “The first goal is to make the playoffs and we achieved that,” Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges said after Saturday’s game. “That’s the first step out of the way. Now we enjoy this tonight, tomorrow, and then the real season starts.”

Added goalie Carey Price, who made 41 saves for his sixth shutout of the season: “We’re definitely proud of our season. We put a lot of effort in all season long. We stayed fairly consistent all year. And now the fun begins.”

And it will start in Tampa.

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)

Lightning clinches home ice with shootout win, NHL.com

First-round playoff matchups set, NHL.com

NHL releases first-round playoff schedule, NHL.com

The Matchup: Montreal vs. Tampa Bay, Canadiens.com

Habs coach Therrien should be toast of the town, by Jack Todd

Gionta puts nice finishing touch on 100-point season, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Gionta’s penalty shot beats Rangers in OT, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

‘We’re definitely proud of our season,’ Price says, by Brenda Branswell 

Habs ready for battle, Canadiens.com

Canadiens vs. Rangers photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

There was a time when the Habs almost folded, by The Gazette’s Stu Cowan

April 13 marks 70th anniversary of Habs’ 1944 Cup win, Stu on Sports blog

Lightning gets home ice for first round, Tampa Bay Times

Lightning coach says Malone’s arrest won’t be a distraction, montrealgazette.com


  1. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Played my first round of golf today! Jealous anyone?

  2. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Habs should be proud of what they accomplished as most experts picked to fight for a playoff spot not giving us much of a chance of reaching 100 points. Starting in Tampa means that our expectation is for the team to win at least one as opposed to winning 2 opening on home ice. I like our chances. I would love them more if our PP was clicking.

  3. SlovakHab says:

    Jaromir Jagr had a great season.
    67 points in 82 games, that’s 26th overall in NHL scoring.
    Not bad for 42-year old.
    What a player.

    • Clay says:

      Always respected him as a player. Still dislike him on a personal level.

      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  4. scrotchland says:

    not getting home ice is all on that idiot therian., he should have brought the A-team to chicago, not left the top players at home to party. never cook your chickens before they hatch.

  5. UKRAINIANhab says:

    I can name 15 players better than Ovechkin, it would take to long and I want to watch the golf so yeah.

  6. Black Horse says:

    The Habs have this. I am not the least bit worried!

    Price won Gold, time to bring home Silver.
    I Believe in this Team!

  7. Danno says:

    Just one more reason to hate the shootout


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

  8. Texus says:

    Anyone have the full series schedule?

  9. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Another reason to hate that goof Ovechkin. Anyway, the Habs got what they deserved losing 3/4 against TB and choking the Islanders game. Whether they start at home or away, the Habs have the advantage: Price is healthy and Bishop is out. If the Habs lose against TB’s backups, it will be a much worse failure than last season.

  10. RH says:

    Why I continue to punish myself by scrolling down to the comment section lately is beyond me. This is a TEAM game! Always has and always will be. Subban, Price, Pacioretty, Desharnais ET AL are ONE unit that will decide the fate of this year’s edition of the team we love and follow. Why don’t we just enjoy the ride and let the hockey professionals do their jobs? Geez….

    • ont fan says:

      You have to skip the negative guys or you’ll drive yourself crazy.

    • dabez14 says:

      Great goaltending, keeping shots to the perimeter on D and 3 or 4 guys cashing on good puck luck can carry a team through several rounds. It’s all about how the cookie crumbles… and if we can gain some confidence in playoff performing situations, you never know how far we could go… Or it could go the other way, we get no bounces, shitty D and we get smoked. Thus, the intrigue if playoff hockey!

  11. habsfan0 says:

    So,now that the Habs are going to Tampa again, I wonder if much time at the beach is on MT’s agenda..again.

  12. Habbernac says:

    Might alleviate some of the pressure of starting at home – Habs will be looser – just have to keep MT off the beach…

  13. Black Horse says:

    It is better to start the Playoffs on the road.

    No worries, the Habs got this!

    Price won Gold, time to bring home Silver.
    I Believe in this Team!

  14. Alex says:

    Starting on the road isn’t that bad, I think there is less pressure in the first two games. I would be happy to grab one on the road in the first two and hopefully win the next two at home.

  15. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Well. Poo. Tampa Bay wins in the SO. home ice to them.

  16. habsfan0 says:

    Habs pack your bags.

  17. Chwinsy says:

    That’s what you get when leaving your fate in ovechkin’s hands

  18. twilighthours says:

    Stupid Washington, stupid stupid Ovechkin with the between the legs move. Come on…

    • joeybarrie says:

      I’ve said it before,
      Ovechkin is the reason the caps never go anywhere. Look at his plus minus
      they need a real captain.
      they need 2 too two line players
      they need a defensive defenceman
      and they need a number 1 goalie.

      most importantly they need a new GM.
      Give away Varlamov for A draft pick then give up that great draft pick for Erat?
      Give up Semin for nothing despite signing him to 1 year contracts what? 3 times?

      Hating Washington right now.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Ovechkin just paid back the Habs for 2010.

  19. Clay says:

    Oh well. Time to prepare for a road trip; I’m good with that.

    ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  20. joeybarrie says:

    tampa take home ice

  21. joeybarrie says:

    ovechkin wastes his shot with stupidity

    tampa miss

  22. joeybarrie says:

    tamoa scores

  23. joeybarrie says:

    first shot. Caps. Kuznetsov

  24. laGrandeTerreur says:

    Wonder if Bolts fans are somewhere ranting and raving about how bad and poorly coached their team is because they played their last game against crappy Washington and went scoreless into a shootout….

    • RetroMikey says:

      Habs played crappy against the Islanders and Rangers as well.
      The team should be blamed if they could not finish ahead of Tampa Bay in the standings.
      They will feel it come playoff time if the team plays on the road in Tampa Bay.
      Lighting in 5 if they have home ice advantage.
      Habs in 7 if they have home ice advantage.

      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  25. voyageur9 says:

    21st shootout for caps this season

  26. Phil C says:

    Backstrom had the game on his stick and missed. Lightning seemed to be playing for the shootout, they didn’t even come close in overtime.

  27. joeybarrie says:


  28. Habitoba says:

    Come on Caps, even Buffalo scored today

  29. Chrisadiens says:

    And going to the shootout now. Stupid way to decide a game/home ice advantage.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • Clay says:

      I agree.
      And congratulations on the wedding!

      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

    • CJ says:

      This is where you look back on those loses or points that we gave away earlier in the year. The road loss to the Flames, home ice against the Oilers and Predators. Giving up the goal to the Hawks on Wednesday night.

      I agree with poo pooing the shoot out, but this was 82 games in the making.

      Lastly, why does John Cooper not get Jack Adams love and attention?

  30. HabFan in Edmonton says:

    Mike Komarisek has 2 assists today, has doubled his point total for the year. Talk about a guy who was good in Montreal and nowhere else.

  31. Frank2468 says:

    Wow to think home ice is going to be decided by a shootout!!!!

  32. HabFab says:

    Shoot out.

  33. Alex says:

    I don’t have the game on TV at home, so checking in on the NHL site frequently…thankfully Holtby is playing well since the Caps were outshot so bad in the first two periods. Hoping for home ice!

  34. Alex says:

    Come on Capitals!

  35. Adidess says:

    So that stupid game I am unable to watch is heading to OT?

    Go Team CHanada!

  36. I hate the Bolts!

    Thank the Goalie Gods Holtby is standing tall.

    Only way to beat the Lightning, pucks to the net and swarm swarm swarm.

    If the Habs play the perimeter game like they normally do (thanks coach), it will not be pretty.

    Cooper for Jack Adams!

    Price for Hart!

    # Name Wins
    1 Jacques Plante _ 314
    2 Patrick Roy _ 289
    3 Ken Dryden _ 258
    4 Bill Durnan _ 208
    5 Carey Price _ 179 HART HART HART
    5 Georges Vézina _ 175
    7 George Hainsworth _ 167
    8 Michel Larocque _ 144
    9 José Théodore _ 141
    10 Gerry McNeil _ 119

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

  37. govenah says:

    RE: BoltsvsCaps – Both teams are still playing not get injured. Could go anyway.

    The glass is MT.

  38. Timo says:

    I wonder when Habs get bounced in playoffs will it be ALL Subban’s fault?

  39. Say Ash says:

    So, could I get an update from Tampa?

  40. Danno says:

    Caps vs Bolts – Third period now underway


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

  41. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …c’mon Jordan ! …can’t be beaten by a ‘Bubba’ ! 🙁

  42. Timo says:

    I don’t know if anyone heard but it’s 0-0 after 2 with Tampa outshooting Wash 23-7.

  43. Danno says:

    Still 0-0 after two periods of play between TBL & the Caps. TBL outshooting Wash by a margin of 23 to 7


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

  44. smiler2729 says:

    The Caps suck… Bolts suck…
    This game sucks….


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

  45. frontenac1 says:

    Shaping up for a fine finish. Spieth and Buuba at-7, Hockey guy Bliixt at -4

  46. BJ says:

    Scoreless after two in Washington. Tampa outshoots them 23-7 so far.

  47. habsfan0 says:

    End of second: Tampa 0 Wash 0
    SOG: Tampa 23 Wash 7

  48. Habitoba says:

    First choice to win the cup = Habs (obviously)
    Second choice = Ducks. GO KOIVU!! GO SELANNE!!!

  49. jimmy shaker says:

    Please Booner…..tell me betterman and co. didn’t screw the boys over and make them play any afternoon games in the series did he?

    Shaker out!

    • CJ says:

      Brian hoping to get invited for dinner? Some of those grades are a little flattering. By a little I mean a lot.

      I’ll leave it there for now….

    • docketrocket says:

      What a novel read on the Subban situation. Not our Michel Therrien surely?

    • Timo says:

      He is right on one thing – PK needs another coach. And I am afraid it will be somewhere else. Therrien has ruined the best player for Habs in 2 decades.

      • Habitoba says:

        What do you think of Maritime Ronn’s suggestion of a Subban/Shea Weber trade?

        • Clay says:

          The question is – why would Nashville go for it?

          ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

          • Habitoba says:

            Granted. No rumours suggesting it, just a hypothetical question Ronn had asked a couple days ago

          • Clay says:

            Right…with that provision, I would definitely make that trade. I love Suban, but you have to give a great player to get a great player, and Weber is consistently one of the best.

            ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

        • CJ says:

          I’d trade PK for Weber and never look back. There is zero chance Nashville would entertain it though.

  50. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …not worried whether We have ‘home-ice advantage’, or not

    …only significance in this day and age is to the Owner, Mr. Molson, whom may get extra gate receipts from an additional game

    …hockey players today are carpetbaggers …all rinks in the NHL are ‘home rinks’

  51. frontenac1 says:

    Anybody see that bunker shot by Spieth? Damn that was nice.

  52. calvee123 says:

    Shots 10 to 3 for Tampa in 1st period. Hope Caps can get it going. Tampa seems driven… Maybe if they win they will have a huge letdown in game 1,2,3,4…. And we sweep them…

  53. Bolts outshooting the Caps 10-3 in the first. Doesn’t look like Washington wants to do us any favors. =/

    Defense wins championships

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” St. Thomas Aquinas

  54. the subbanator says:

    Found a lightning/capitals radio feed if anyone is interested: http://provisioning.streamtheworld.com/pls/WFEDAM.pls

  55. Stevie.Ray says:

    Boston vs. Detroit
    Montreal vs. Tampa Bay

    Pittsburgh vs. Columbus
    New York vs. Philadelphia

    Anaheim vs. Dallas
    San Jose vs. Los Angeles

    Colorado vs. Minnesota
    St. Louis vs. Chicago

  56. habsfan0 says:

    Not to get ahead of myself,but if the Habs beat Tampa and the Red Wings beat Boston,does that mean a Montreal Detroit 2nd round matchup?
    That hasn’t happened since 1978, a year before the last time the Habs played Toronto in the postseason.

  57. desertman says:

    Great end to a really good season. Really looking forward to the playoffs.

    I’m going to be in london watching the game at the Maple Leaf pub! If anyone is going to be there, lets grab a pint!

    p.s just watched the liverpool game at a british pub in barcelona, AMAZING!

    • Clay says:

      I’ve been to that pub in Barcelona! Loved it there.

      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  58. CJ says:

    Looking forward to catching up with everyone tomorrow. Glued to the Masters right now. Looking forward to revisiting all things Canadiens later. I even had the chance to crank on a few balls at Golftown this morning…..

    My beautiful wife and I have a few beer on ice and are pulling for different guys this afternoon. Going to be great! Cheers, CJ

  59. Habcouver says:

    Bouwmeester accidentally slew foots referee, who’s gone for the game.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  60. C-Sword says:

    Wow, I’m impressed by how the Red Wings play, their speed is killing the Blues. It’s looking like the Blues will end their season with a fifth straight loss, I suppose they’re no longer cup contender with all those injuries.

  61. Da Hema says:

    There are many good things about this past season, but I have lingering concerns about both the season itself and the upcoming playoffs.

    The good? The Habs of course made the playoffs, and point-wise had a fine season. The team has a depth it has not had in a very long time. And Price’s play this year has been phenomenal. I think it is safe to say he is the one primarily responsible for the team’s success.

    The concerns? The team did not finish strong at all (e.g., losing to the Islanders’ AHL team), and continues to get both outhit and outshot in games (the latter frequently cited as a central cause for the Leafs missing the playoffs, especially since Bernier and Reimer are not Price). The season-long play of Eller, Galchenyuk, and Subban declined notably. The power play frankly looks dreadful. The team’s first line (Vanek, Desharnais, Pacioretty) is playing too cute, and Pacioretty is as we all know a streak scorer — and his streak just looked like it ended.

    I am looking for counterarguments here. I have more concerns than reasons to be optimistic about this team heading into the playoffs.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      The post-season is a whole new ballgame?
      There’s a magic switch when it comes to players’ performances?
      I have connections?

    • JUST ME says:

      Based on my expectations i can hardly be critical on anything. Secretly of course i hoped they made the playoffs but i thought it would be like so many seasons through the back door so i was quite happy about how it went.
      I do find it very important to notice how we win as much as if we win. We did very well in that sense,stacked up points more than anyone expected and mostly also against teams we did not expect to beat. We came back and won games that before we used to lose and a few of them were historic.
      Bergevin amazed us all with his moves during the season to make the team better. I think that he is doing what he said he would and does not change his plans . Of course some would say that we will never know what he would have done if things did not go so well but i think that he knows his stuff.

      Still i was satisfied with the end of the season getting 3 of the last 6 points available but clearly they were already somewhere else thinking about round 1 of the playoffs. Captain Gionta finished the season with another notable event. Do not think it ever happened during the more than 100 years of the Habs history the the winning goal of the last game was scored on a penalty shot in overtime. One thing is for sure, we probably will never see that again in our lifetime !

      As for the first round of the playoffs i think that the Habs can come out winners but will need to play their own game and have Tampa try to catch up. That may take a game or two but when the Habs has a challenge this season most of the times they came through with succes so….

    • Habitoba says:

      I think when a playoff position is already set, the guys might think it’s better to play and not get hurt/tuckered out than home ice advantage. The Islanders game was probably just the team not expecting much of a struggle from an AHL team. The Rangers game seemed like they just didn’t want to get hurt/trying to get Max his 40th. I have all the faith in the world that the proverbial switch will turn on for them once the big dance starts.

      Or I could be full of it…

  62. Chrisadiens says:

    A special thanks to the guys and gals here who sent me and my new wife some blessings in the past couple days. Much appreciated. HIO is the best!

    It was great watching the game with L and Bripro last night. Timo, did your ears ring a lot yesterday? 😉

    I’m glad its over so I never have to do that again. (I hope) 🙂

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  63. The Jackal says:

    Talk about bad injury luck – the Blues are without Backes, Oshie, Tarasenko, Sobotka, Berglund, and more!

    That’s a lot worse off than the Wings’ injury situation but you gotta admire Detroit – no Zetterberg, no Datsyuk, no problem.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  64. Habcouver says:

    Habs regular season record was almost identical for home and away.

    Aside from extra profit to owners, do the Habs really care having home ice advantage?

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  65. Mike Boone says:

    My spies tell me the series schedule, regardless of where it opens, is Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday.

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Habilis says:

      Thanks Boone.

      I’m surprised that we won’t be playing on either of the Saturdays. But no back to backs is a very good thing.

      Bolts hate… rising.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Watch the game on MSG network last night. Did the announcers have a laugh when just before the Cube fight in the knee to knee hit PK came flying by and looked like he was going to defend his teammate but just kept on going. Must have been telling the Ranger that Cube’s coming so he better be ready.
        I don’t expect PK to fight as he’s terrible at it and more valuable on the ice, but to rush in then flee the scene even made me laugh.
        IMO winning the Norris last year was the worst thing that could have happened to PK.
        Probably get flack for this post but really don’t care.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          I agree it would likely have been better for Subban not to win, MB probably wishes the same as I would guess just that alone will cost him a million a year.

    • habsfan0 says:

      At the very least,we can all be grateful that no Habs playoff games conflict with any Seders this year.
      Thank heavens for small mercies.

      • Clay says:

        Is it the 15th day of Nisan already?

        ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  66. Cal says:

    Wear your playoff beards proudly! You too, Mr. Biter! 😉

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Oh, that’s what it is. Make sense and wow such a beard in 2 days, amazing. Okay but the girls on my Avatar would not look good with beards so I will for go the photo shop.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  67. Strummer says:

    Why fighting in the NHL is pointless .
    Reason #109:
    Leafs lead the league in majors and finshed in 23rd place

    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      If you list all of the actual enforcers (players who have more fighting majors than goals for example), none of them will play n the playoffs. Most (Colton Orr, John Scott, Brian McGratton) are on teams that didn’t make the playoffs. A few (George Parros) simply won’t be dressed in the playoffs.

      The notion that Parros would have helped against the Sens in last year’s playoffs is unrealistic. He would have been in the press box.

      Moving. Forward.

  68. habs001 says:

    The Habs have a better chance to win the cup this year than they will have in the next two years…Management has made the decision to go with an very experienced team this year…Many posters have stated that the Habs will be a real cup contender in 2 years but i just dont see that…The majority of the Habs future hopes have not even played in the NHL while other have had limited roles…This rebuild will take way longer than 2 years…

  69. 100HABS says:

    Go Ovie, go! I bought tix for game seven in Mtl. If Washington doesn’t do me proud, I’ll be refunded tomorrow!

  70. EricInStL says:

    Congrats to the Habs for a 100 pt season. I am not a fanatic, but I am impressed with this season thus far. The team still has lots of work to do. But at least they are going in the right direction. A couple of pieces here a couple there and who knows they could go the the conference finals.

    Not a Cup contender right now, but with a couple of good bounces who knows. Good luck.

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