Author: Ryan Dadoun

Brandon Prust

Prust blasts referee Watson after getting tossed from Game 2


Montreal forward Brandon Prust accumulated 31 penalty minutes during the Lightning’s 6-2 win over the Canadiens, mostly because he hit goalie Ben Bishop and then fought Tampa Bay blueliner Braydon Coburn, but it’s his postgame rant that might end up leading to supplementary discipline.

“I thought the original call was kind of soft and I let him (referee Brad Watson) know on the way to the penalty box,” Prust said, per the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur. “He kept provoking me. He came to the box and called me every name in the book. He called me a piece of you know what, a (expletive), coward, said he’d drive me right out of this building. I kept going, ‘Yeah, OK, yeah OK, yeah OK.’ He kept on me, he kept on me. I kept saying, ‘Yeah, OK.’ I wasn’t looking at him. He teed me up.

“That’s the ref he is. He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight.”

Prust was discussing his roughing penalty in the first period. The Canadiens forward ended up with an additional minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

This matter will likely be addressed by Hockey Ops and Colin Campbell as opposed to the Department of Player Safety, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Prust might end up receiving a fine for what he said.

Montreal as a team ran into penalty troubles in Sunday’s contest and Tampa Bay had eight power-play opportunities as a result. The Lightning capitalized on four of those chances.

Video: Prust hits goalie Bishop, Coburn stands up for teammate

Prust fight

The Tampa Bay Lightning earned a decisive victory Sunday night to take a 2-0 series lead over Montreal in the second round series. As the contest drew to a close though, Canadiens’ Brandon Prust tried to spark his team in preparation for the tough task ahead of them.

Prust knocked Ben Bishop behind the Lightning goaltenders’ net and Tampa Bay blueliner Braydon Coburn rushed to his netminder’s defense. You can see that incident below:

Coburn and Prust were both given fighting majors while the latter also got a misconduct, game misconduct, and a two-minute minor for tripping Bishop. That wasn’t the first time Prust got into trouble tonight and he finished the game with 31 total penalty minutes.

It’s worth noting that noting that Prust and Bishop have a history. They traded blows last year, as you can see below:

Prust also smashed Bishop into the boards during a game on March 16:

Stamkos, power play comes alive as Lightning take 2-0 series lead vs. Habs

Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan

The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the second round and entered tonight’s contest with a 1-0 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens, but there were two glaring issues with their play in the postseason. The first was that superstar forward Steven Stamkos didn’t have a goal in eight playoff contests and the other was the fact that Tampa Bay had capitalized on just two of its 34 power-play opportunities thus far.

Both of those issues were addressed tonight as the Lightning earned a 6-2 victory over the Canadiens.

Defenseman Jeff Petry got Montreal on the board first, but the Canadiens soon began to run into penalty troubles. Earlier in Tampa Bay’s playoff run, that might not have proven to be a big issue for Montreal and at first they were able to hold off the Lightning this time around. However, Valtteri Filppula netted a power-play marker with roughly 24 seconds left in the first period to tie the contest at 1-1. When Stamkos gave Tampa Bay the lead midway through the second frame, the floodgates opened.

Nikita Kucherov scored two goals for the Lightning, including what proved to be the game-winner:

In the end, Tampa Bay was 4-for-8 with the man advantage.

Montreal has now fallen behind 2-0 despite entering the series with the home ice advantage. Game 3 will take place on Wednesday in the Lightning’s Amalie Arena. Given that the Lightning were 32-8-1 at home in the regular season, the Canadiens’ situation is looking rather dire.

Lightning lose Cedric Paquette to undisclosed injury

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Two

Tampa Bay entered the third period with a 4-1 lead over the Montreal Canadiens, but the Lightning will have to complete Sunday’s game without forward Cedric Paquette.

The 21-year-old only took one shift in the second period and it was later revealed that he won’t return to the contest, per the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith. The nature and severity of his injury were not disclosed.

Paquette has a goal in nine postseason games with Tampa Bay after recording 19 points in 64 regular season contests as a rookie. He had been averaging 14:12 minutes per game in the playoffs going into tonight’s contest.

If his injury keeps him out for more than just the third period of Sunday’s game, then rookie forward Jonathan Drouin could end up back in the lineup. Drouin has only appeared in one 2015 playoff game, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper has expressed an interest in playing Drouin before this series is over.

Video: Stamkos ends goal drought in style

Stamkos goal

Steven Stamkos didn’t score a single goal in Tampa Bay’s first eight playoff contests this season. The fact that the Lightning made it to the second round and then took Game 1 against Montreal without a single marker from the two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner is impressive.

It also raises the question: How far can Tampa Bay go if Stamkos gets hot?

We might find out the answer because Stamkos not only ended his goal scoring drought midway through the second period of Sunday’s game, but he did so in style. After accepting a long pass from Jason Garrison and beating Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov for the puck, Stamkos found himself in a one-on-one situation with goaltender Carey Price.

Stamkos didn’t have complete control of the rolling puck as he moved towards the net, but he still managed to outmaneuver Price to put Tampa Bay up 2-1: