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:
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.
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.
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: