The Tampa Bay Lightning thought they had the winning goal in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. In the first OT period, Nikita Kucherov was denied by Carey Price on a breakaway chance, however as Price’s right pad is forced back into the net, the puck followed.
At 2:56 of overtime in the Tampa Bay Lightning/Montreal Canadiens game, the referee informed the Situation Room that Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov pushed goaltender Carey Price’s pad so he was unable to play his position properly. According to Rule 78.5 (ix) “Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee when a goaltender has been pushed into the net together with the puck after making a save.” This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee’s call on the ice stands – no penalty and no goal Tampa Bay.
Some anxious moments for the Tampa Bay Lightning and that team’s fans during Game 1 on Friday.
Tyler Johnson, who took sole possession of the NHL lead in post-season goals with his seventh to give the Lightning the lead in the third period, briefly left Friday’s game after appearing to be hurt on a Brendan Gallagher cross check as the two went to the boards for the puck.
Johnson was called for holding on the play. It occurred a few minutes after Johnson scored the game’s first goal. He did return a few minutes later.
It appears goals will be hard to come by in this series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens. You know, if the first two periods of Game 1 are any indication.
Not much of a surprise, really, that this has turned into a goalie duel. Ben Bishop and Carey Price have both come up with big saves, resulting in the two teams going into the second intermission in a scoreless tie. Both goalies had each gone five consecutive periods without allowing a goal.
Here’s an example of Bishop’s work this evening, as he stacks the pads and denies Tomas Plekanec with the glove on a short-handed two-on-one rush in the second period, keeping it 0-0.
Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry could barely make it to the Montreal bench after blocking a Jason Garrison slap shot off the inside part of his left leg in the first period.
Good news though for the Habs: Petry returned for the second period, though it will be interesting to see what impact that shot block has on the 27-year-old blue liner, who couldn’t put weight on his left leg as he slowly made his way to the bench.
Meanwhile, something else to keep an eye on: Steven Stamkos was seen favoring his left wrist after slightly bumping into Carey Price while on the forecheck. Like Petry, Stamkos stayed in the game and even had a scoring opportunity, which he was unable to capitalize on.
On Thursday, Habs head coach Michel Therrien went a familiar route in previewing his club’s second-round series against Tampa Bay — by positioning Montreal as the underdog.
To be fair, Therrien might have a point. The Habs went winless in five tries against the Lightning this season, securing just one of a possible 10 points (courtesy a 1-0 OT loss in mid-March.) Therrien also correctly pointed out that Tampa Bay was “the best offensive team in the league” this season, finishing first overall in goals per game (3.16).
But let’s be real here — Therrien’s remarks are mostly gamesmanship. And something we’ve seen before.
Last spring, he trumpeted his team as the decided underdog not just in the Eastern Conference Final against New York, but in the two previous rounds as well. Per the Toronto Sun:
“When we started the season, there were a lot of people not even putting us in the playoffs. Or, if they wanted to be polite, they’d give us the eighth spot,” Therrien said.
“We caused a surprise to make the playoffs. We caused a surprise against the Tampa Bay Lightning to win in four, and we caused a bigger surprise to beat the Boston Bruins.”
It seems Therrien’s message has trickled down to the players as well. Prior to Montreal’s opening-round series against Ottawa this year, winger Dale Weise suggested the Sens were the favored team.
“I think we’re the underdogs,” Weise said, per the Ottawa Sun. “They beat us three out of four times, they’re the hottest team in the NHL right now.
“I don’t see them as an underdog at all.”