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Montreal Canadiens avoid sweeping Stanley Cup final with OT win over Tampa Bay Lightning

The Montreal Canadiens She was about to be eliminated in the Stanley Cup Final on Monday against Tampa Bay Lightning They blew up two progressions in Game 4 and were penalty kicked for four minutes before overtime.

Scary for most teams. Perfect for the Canadian brand.

“Nothing has been easy for us all year. This streak will not start,” the veteran striker Brendan Gallagher He said. “We’ve kind of come to terms with the fact that it’s never going to be easy here.”

Josh Anderson The match-winner scored less than four minutes into overtime – his second goal of the night – as the Canadians avoided becoming the first team in 23 years to drift in the Stanley Cup Final in a 3-2 win over Lightning at Bell Center in Montreal. The victory extended to Game Five on Wednesday in Tampa, Florida. Meanwhile, the Lightning dropped to 0-4 in overtime this postseason.

“We didn’t want to end the game tonight in front of our fans,” Anderson said. “We expected to go to Tampa tomorrow. I think everyone in that locker room did that. [We] We packed our bags this afternoon. I had this feeling that we were going to win tonight and give ourselves a chance. We’ll go there, take care of the business and go home in front of our fans. We are in a good position now.”

The Hab didn’t seem to be in a good position late as a captain Shea Weberhigh stick cut Ondrej Balat With 61 seconds left in the system that drew blood. That put Tampa Bay in the four-minute power game, which extended into overtime.

But the Canadians entered Game 4 after allowing only five goals in 53 chances (90.6% success rate) in the post-season. They killed all 5 Lightning power plays in Game 4 regulation.

“The penalties were fantastic in all the matches,” Anderson said. “So we went back to the room, and we believed in each other. We weren’t disappointed, all the positive things in the room. We just had to execute. I thought we did a great job.”

Anderson also credited the goalkeeper Carry price Being a wall in there, he held 32 rounds. It was Price’s first career win in a Stanley Cup Final in his 91st post-season competition – which correlates with the second-most number of games played by a goalkeeper at the time of his first final victory. This was the price Montreal was expecting; The 33-year-old was uncharacteristically shaky during the first three games of the series, allowing 13 goals from 79 shots (.835 savings), including a dismal 0.833 saving on low-risk shots, according to Natural Stat Trick.

After the third match, Price said he could “play better for sure. It’s not good enough yet.” This prompted a reporter to ask Montreal coach Dominique Ducharme what was unimaginable during the two-day break between matches: Would he consider getting Price for backup? Jake Allen?

Ducharme was defiant, and on Monday reiterated his confidence in the professional for 14 years. The coach said he didn’t need to say anything to Price to help re-instill confidence.

“Nothing,” Ducharme said. “Just a flick of the pads.” “Brassie has experience, he’s a competitor. We wanted to be better against him. He said what he said and answered the bell tonight.”

It was rollercoaster season for the Canadians. Coach Claude Julien was sacked in February and replaced by Ducharme – although the Habs were provisionally coaching them at the start of the Stanley Cup Final, where Ducharme was quarantined for 14 days after positive COVID-19 tests in the semi-final series. The Habs also experienced a COVID-19 pause during the season and had the lowest winning percentage of any of the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs.

Montreal also fell 3-1 in the first round series against Toronto Maple Leafs But she prepared to win it.

“For me, this is not surprising,” Ducharme said. “We’ve been through a lot. We’ve talked about it. That’s another challenge we’re up for. Tonight we played hard; it wasn’t perfect. But we still feel we can be better. We’ll do it in Tampa. We won’t go easy, that’s for sure.”

Ducharme made several bold squad decisions in Game 4, all centered on finding more speed. Anderson collided up the line with Cole Caufield And the Nick Suzuki and scratch Jesperi KotkaniemiThis postseason, who has five goals, in favor of Jake Evans. Ducharme defenders introduced Britt Colak And the Alexander Romanov Back to the squad – which also paid off as Romanov scored the third-half goal that broke the 1-1 tie.

The 21-year-old Romanoff, an NHL rookie signed with Montreal this season from the Kontinental Hockey League, had only played in two playoff games before Monday — once in Winnipeg Second round series and once against Vegas in the semi-finals. Before his goal, Romanov scored only one point since February 25.

Gallagher’s initial point isn’t underestimated: Canadians haven’t made it easy on themselves in the series. They didn’t advance at any point in the series until Anderson scored with 4:21 remaining in the first period – a streak of 195:39 minutes either tied or late.

Anderson’s goal shocked the Habs after another slow start on the ice at home. The Canadians didn’t get a shot at the net in the first eight minutes of the first period, and Tampa Bay had a 25-8 lead on shot attempts in the first break. Lightning tied in the second half thanks to a goal from Barclay Godro. Target followed a common theme of Tampa Bay in this series, coming right after Ryan McDonagh forced Jeff Petri rotation.

when pat maroon He scored for a 2-2 draw late in the third half, set up by his teammate Matthew Joseph, which also forced a turnover. It marks Tampa Bay’s 11th goal in the series within 10 seconds of turnover, according to data from Sportlogiq.

Had Lightning won on Tuesday, it would have put them in rare company. The Canadians appeared in 35 Stanley Cup Finals, but only one visiting team (1989 .) Calgary Flames) scooped the trophy on the ice at the Montreal home.

Before the match, there was a moment of silence for 24-year-old Matisse Kevliniks Columbus blue jackets The goalkeeper died on Sunday after being injured in a 4th of July fireworks accident.


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