Montreal Canadiens

Video: Price makes huge save, Stamkos finally breaks through minutes later

Montreal took a 1-0 lead over Tampa Bay midway through the first period of Game 5 and for much of the game, the Canadiens clung onto that edge.

Montreal goaltender Carey Price played a big role in allowing that to happen. With nearly half of the third period in the books, Price made a big glove save to rob Valtteri Filppula:

Price merely delayed the game-tying goal though as captain Steven Stamkos was able to capitalize on a juicy rebound at 9:27 of the third to tie the contest:

That was just Stamkos’ second goal of the playoffs and it came after he failed to record a single shot in back-to-back games. He couldn’t have picked a much better time to come through, although Montreal was able to regain the lead late in the frame.

Video: Smith-Pelly gives Habs another early lead

The Montreal Canadiens were able to build off of an early lead in Game 4 en route to a 6-2 victory. They have a chance to secure a similar outcome tonight.

Devante Smith-Pelly managed to beat Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop midway through the first period to get Montreal on the board first. There was some initial confusion because the Lightning players on the ice thought the puck hit the post and went back out, but the replies made it clear that it was a goal.

You can see that play below:

It was Smith-Pelly’s first marker of the 2015 playoffs. He was acquired from Anaheim in exchange for Jiri Sekac on Feb. 24.

This is just the fourth time in 11 games that Montreal has scored first in the 2015 postseason. The Canadiens are 2-1 in that scenario while Tampa Bay is 2-4 when surrendering the opening goal.

Habs’ Beaulieu available for Game 5

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Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is available to the Montreal Canadiens for Game 5 tonight.

Beaulieu has been sidelined with an upper body injury since Game 3 of the Habs’ first round series with the Ottawa Senators following a hit from Erik Karlsson.

The 22-year-old has one assist in three Stanley Cup playoff games while averaging 12:18 in time on ice.

Michel Therrien would not confirm whether the blue liner would be in the lineup for tonight’s must-win contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight

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A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…

Lightning at Canadiens, 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN

The Montreal Canadiens will try to stave off elimination once again tonight as their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning switches to the Bell Centre for Game 5. The Habs thumped the Bolts 6-2 on Thursday night – it was Montreal’s first win against Tampa this season.

The Bolts have won five straight at the Bell Centre in 2015 out-scoring the Habs 18-8 in those games.

Only four teams have ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. The L.A. Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks in seven games last spring after trailing 3-0 in the series.

Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick will get things started at 6:00 p.m. ET with NHL Live. Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti have the call from Montreal at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Cooper replies to Subban’s ‘horseshoe’ remark about Bishop


The Montreal Canadiens finally got to Ben Bishop last night — chasing him with three goals on 14 shots — and, afterward, P.K. Subban took a bit of a shot at the Bolts netminder.

“I think Bishop sort of was sitting on a horseshoe for a little bit there,” Subban said, per CP. “He’s played well, but he’s been lucky, as well.

“I think seeing him being pulled out of the net is a confidence booster for our team.”

Today, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper addressed the remarks.

“He may be right — or Ben might be a good goalie,” Cooper said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “P.K. is a character, he’s a fun guy to have in the league for statements like that.”

Bishop had been brilliant through the first three games of this series — all Lightning wins, not coincidentally. He stopped 100 of 104 shots (a .961 save percentage), highlighted by a Game 1 performance in which he made 43 saves in a double-OT win.

If there has been a knock on Bishop this postseason, though, it’s a penchant for letting in shaky goals. He essentially scored in his own net in Game 4 of the Detroit series and, in the opener of this series, flubbed a Max Pacioretty shot in the third period, which sent the contest to OT:

Last night, another questionable goal, this time off the stick of David Desharnais:

Despite those goals, Bishop’s overall numbers this postseason are off-the-charts good (7-4-0, .930 save percentage, 1.86 GAA) and he’s saved some of his best performances for the most crucial times, like his 31-save shutout in Game 7 of the Red Wings series.

Which is probably why Cooper had Bishop’s back after last night’s rough outing.

“It’s not his fault,” Cooper said of the Game 4 loss. “He’s played a lot of hockey. I thought maybe we’d get a spark out of [pulling him]. But it definitely wasn’t because of Bishop’s play.”