Tampa's Nikita Kucherov finds redemption in Game 1 winning goal

Tampa's Nikita Kucherov finds redemption in Game 1 winning goal

The hockey gods have spoken, and they deemed Nikita Kucherov’s no-goal call in the first overtime of Tampa’s Game 1 contest faulty. That’s because Kucherov must have had divine intervention in what ended up being the game-winner in the second overtime in the Lightning’s 2-1 victory.

Really, it wasn't a bad call by the referee on the no-goal. So in a lot of ways this was Kucherov staying with it after the disappointment, rather than a higher power deciding the contest.

Behold, his score at the 2:06 mark of the first overtime:

It was a very important win for Tampa. For one, it ensured the Lightning would not get swept out of the playoffs by the Habs in consecutive years.

Per the Tampa Tribune:

“That’s the definition of irony right there,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said.

Kucherov said he wasn’t going to complain about the first goal being waved off.

“I didn’t try to think about it, so I just tried to think to shoot the puck,” Kucherov said. “Every shot is a good shot in overtime, and that went in.”

But if there was a game for Montreal to win, it was this contest. The Lightning just came off a tough Game 7 against Detroit. Exhaustion and let downs are always a factor in Game 1 of the next series.

Monteal coach Michel Therrien had some sour grapes after the game via the Montreal Gazette:

Therrien was upset because he felt that the Lightning’s Brian Boyle was offside on the winning goal by Nikita Kucherov.

“It’s frustrating,’ said Therrien. “It’s one thing when you lose on a judgement call but an offside is black and white and to me it was clearly offside.”

Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop stopped 43 of 44 Montreal shots on goal, while Carey Price stuffed 33 of 35 Tampa shots on goal. Again, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was held without a goal. But it didn’t much matter since Tyler Johnson again picked up the slack with a score of his own. Max Pacioretty scored Montreal’s only goal.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!