Lightning humble upstart Canadiens to set the tone.
Tampa Bay Leads the Series 1-0
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed one goal on 19 shots for the victory. Made his usual spate of timely saves and was only beaten by a double deflection through traffic. Hard to see Montreal beating Vasilevskiy four times if they can only manage 19 shots a game.
6:19 TB Cernak (1), (Palat, Point)
6:47 TB Gourde (6), (Coleman, Goodrow)
17:40 MTL Chiarot (1), (Kotkaniemi, Weber)
2:00 TB Kucherov (6), (Sergachev)
11:25 TB Kucherov (7), (Point)
18:50 TB Stamkos (8), (Kucherov, Point)(PP)
Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and Erik Cernak were the game’s three stars.
Sometimes the games go just like you think they’re going to. Coming into this series, I felt this really came down to the Lightning matching or exceeding the Canadiens’ intensity and not being stubborn on zone entries against Montreal’s 1-3-1. The Lightning have a massive quickness advantage on Montreal’s old, slow defense and they got pucks deep early and just forechecked them into oblivion. The Lightning got a lot of pucks through traffic and got three goals on the greasy side against Price before breaking it all the way open with a goal off a clean faceoff win and a goal on the power play. Right about now Montreal, which fancied itself a team of destiny, has to feel a little shell shocked. The Lightning did a lot to rob Montreal of their belief with tonight’s result, no doubt. Is there more to do in this series? A ton. The Canadiens will make their adjustments and Game Two promises to be a grind. But if the Lightning continue to follow the recipe, Montreal appears to be in over their heads because eventually all this withering forecheck pressure is going to start wearing those old, slow d-men and smallish forwards out.
Three wins away from moving into the high rent neighborhood in NHL history.
Ross Colton had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot and was 25% on 4 draws in 11:25. All four lines had their moments on the forecheck tonight, and Colton’s line got their fair share. I expect the biggest advantage will be for the Point and Gourde lines because of their speed, but every line has a chance to feast in this series if they stay on the gas.