The Montreal Canadiens carried much of the play in Game 3, but Ben Bishop kept the Tampa Bay Lightning alive long enough for the most dramatic finish of the second round … since the last really exciting finish.
Much like the Washington Capitals’ last-second win in Game 1, the Lightning barely avoided overtime to grab a 2-1 win tonight. With that, Tampa Bay holds a 3-0 series lead over Montreal, and they can end the series as early as Thursday in Game 4.
In tonight’s case, Ondrej Palat made an alert pass to Victor Hedman, who went in deep to send a great one-time pass to Tyler Johnson. The undrafted marvel scored with just about a second left, shocking Carey Price and the Canadiens in the process.
Here’s video of the winner:
… And this is probably how it felt for Price and the Canadiens:
Let’s not kid ourselves, though. Johnson’s goal and Steven Stamkos’ pass serve as beautiful buzzer-beaters, but the bottom line is that Ben Bishop stole this one for the Lightning.
The Canadiens’ 15 third-period shots nearly matched what Tampa Bay generated all game (19). Overall, it was a 31-19 shot differential for Montreal, but Johnson’s last attempt was the one that ultimately mattered.
(Chart via Natural Stat Trick)
One year after Montreal swept the Bolts from the 2014 postseason, the Lightning are one win away from possibly returning the favor. The Canadiens don’t have much time to gather their thoughts, either, as Game 4 is tomorrow.
If Game 3 is any indication, there won’t be much room for error.
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