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)