What's buzzing:

Canadiens 3, Lightning 2

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- Center Tomas Plekanec's early third-period goal stood as the game-winner as the Montreal Canadiens took a commanding lead in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night in the Bell Centre.

Left winger Rene Bourque and right winger Brendan Gallagher also scored for the Canadiens.

Tampa Bay's goals came from left winger Ondrej Palat and defenseman Matt Carle.

Goaltender Carey Price made 27 saves for Montreal, which leads 3-0 in the best-of-seven series. Lightning goalie Anders Lindback stopped 28 shots.

The ice had not yet dried when Bourque sent the crowd into a frenzy with his third goal in the past two games. Defenseman P.K. Subban sent a bouncing pass out of the Montreal zone to Bourque, waiting just outside the Lightning blue line. The winger fended off Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman before tossing his shot short side on Lindback just 11 seconds in.

The goal was four seconds shy of the Canadiens' franchise record for the quickest score to start an NHL playoff game, which was set by Bob Gainey in 1977.

The quick strike prompted the raucous crowd to get on Tampa's netminder with chants of "LIND-BACK" echoing through the building.

Lindback recovered from his rough start to keep his team in the game the rest of the period, making several key saves as a four-minute Lightning penalty expired and then later on back-to-back opportunities by Canadiens left winger Max Pacioretty.

The Lightning tied the score at 8:39 of the second period on the power play. Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges was caught off-balance in a battle with right winger Ryan Callahan and wound up tangled with Price when Palat's shot from the slot found the back of the net.

The Lightning thought they had gone ahead at 15:38, but the goal was waved off.

Tampa Bay right winger Steven Stamkos left the game late in the period after Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin accidentally kneed Stamkos in the head as he was falling. He returned for the third period.

Gallagher restored the Canadiens' lead after a strong effort by Subban, who went from the Tampa blue line around the net before feeding the winger in the left faceoff circle at 18:10.

Plekanec put the Canadiens up by two at 5:43 of the third period when he paused before moving in from the edge of the left circle to the dot and then rifled a shot past Lindback.

Carle cut the deficit when he his shot from the blue line made it through traffic to the back of the net.

NOTES: Lightning LW Ondrej Palat returned to the lineup after missing Game 2 with an upper body injury. ... His return was one of several changes made by head coach Jon Cooper, with RW Richard Panik, RW Nikita Kucherov and D Mike Kostka swapped out in favor of RW B.J. Crombeen, C Tom Pyatt and D Mark Barberio. ... Tampa Bay D Sami Salo missed the game with an upper body injury. ... Montreal did not make any lineup changes, once again scratching C Ryan White, LW Travis Moen, RW George Parros and D Douglas Murray. ... Canadiens LW Rene Bourque's first-period goal set a record for fastest goal at the Bell Centre in a playoff game. The previous record was 25 seconds by LW Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes on May 13, 2002.

Instantly join a new league.

League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Sep 4 9:00 am
View Comments (1)