(Photo: Dario Ayala /The Gazette)
The Canadiens now hold a daunting 3-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning and have a chance to clinch the best-of-seven playoff series on Tuesday at the Bell Centre.
“It’s a huge win for us,” coach Michel Therrien said after the Canadiens 3-2 win Sunday over the Lightning.
“I thought the first period was phenomenal. We got great, great scoring chances,” said Therrien, who added Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback kept Tampa in the game.
The Habs great start included a goal by Rene Bourque on a breakaway 11 seconds into the game, drawing thunderous cheers from the Bell Centre crowd.
It was the first game on home ice in the series for the Habs and the atmosphere was electric.
“I never got to play in the old Forum,” said Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban.
“I don’t know what the atmosphere was like there. But in the Bell Centre it’s unbelievable. It’s a lot of fun to play in these types of games.”
The game was not without controversy.
Ryan Callahan’s goal in the second period was waved off because Alex Killorn made incidental contact with Price.
Therrien said he thought it was the right call. But Tampa coach Jon Cooper was irked by the call.
“I was pissed then and I’m pissed now,” he said after the game.
“That’s just my opinion. And I’ll let the court of public opinion take care of the rest.”
Cooper said he felt the Lightning played hard and with passion.
“It’s tough to walk into the locker room and look at those guys when they’ve played–clearly that was our best game we’ve played in the series. I thought they deserved a better fate tonight,” Cooper said.
Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec also scored for the Canadiens.
Subban had two assists, including on Gallagher’s goal in the second period during 4 on 4 play.
Lars Eller made a great play behind the net to move the puck out to open ice, said Subban who tried to draw the fore-checker to him and went behind the net.
“There’s a reason why (Gallagher) was first star tonight. He did a lot of good things. He did a great thing to get himself open,” Subban said.
You can listen to more of what Subban had to say after the game here:
You can watch what Price had to say here:
And you can listen to Bourque here:
(Video: Brenda Branswell)