The Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens might not seem like natural rivals, but they don’t seem to like each other, either. At least, that’s certainly the case with Brandon Prust and Ben Bishop.
The tough guy and goalie mixed it up again on Monday (particularly when Prust received a goalie interference penalty while checking Bishop behind his net) as the Lightning edged the Habs 4-2.
Technically, Tampa Bay didn’t tie Montreal for the Atlantic Division’s top spot, as the Canadiens hold a game in hand. This win definitely makes a big difference as far as the race for the division title is concerned, though.
Let’s be clear: if it comes down to a head-to-head tiebreaker, the Lightning will win that in a walk. They were victorious in all five games between the teams with Montreal only nabbing one out of a possible 10 standings points.
It should be an interesting ride to the finish line in that regard, and things could be awfully entertaining if the two teams happen to meet in the 2015 postseason.
Check out two angles of that Prust hit on Bishop, via My Regular Face:
The hit didn’t bother Lightning head coach Jon Cooper all that much, it seems.
Not that long ago, Max Pacioretty was chasing in on other peoples’ mistakes. He found himself on the other end of that proposition on Monday.
A very unfortunate Pacioretty pass found its way to Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos, who scored against Carey Price:
That goal was unassisted … technically.
So far, it’s been one of those nights for the Montreal Canadiens, who find themselves down 3-0 to Tampa Bay as of this writing.
All the latest from the crease…
Lindback takes on Caps
Anders Lindback will look to continue his personal reclamation project when the Sabres host the Caps in Buffalo.
Acquired from Dallas in the Jhonas Enroth trade, Lindback — who was dreadful as Kari Lehtonen’s backup — has been quite effective since Buffalo dealt Michal Neuvirth to the Isles. The lanky Swede has yet to win a game for the Sabres, yet allowed just 12 goals on 160 shots over a five-game stretch, good for a .925 save percentage and 2.68 GAA.
In his last outing, a 2-0 loss to the Rangers, Lindback stopped 31 of 32 shots for a .969 save percentage. He also did this to Toronto in overtime last week:
For the Capitals, no word yet on who’ll start. Braden Holtby was in for yesterday’s 2-0 win over Boston and could go back-to-back; if not, it’ll be Philipp Grubauer, who’s up from AHL Hershey with Justin Peters injured.
Habs at Bolts: Carey Price vs. Ben Bishop
Leafs at Oilers: Jonathan Bernier vs. Ben Scrivens
Coyotes at Kings: (No Arizona starter yet) vs. Jonathan Quick (probable)
The Montreal Canadiens will have defenseman Alexei Emelin back in the lineup tonight for their Atlantic Division showdown in Tampa Bay.
Emelin has been out since getting hurt Feb. 18 in Ottawa. The 28-year-old is most likely to replace Greg Pateryn in the lineup, though nothing has been confirmed.
With a regulation win tonight, the Habs would move four points clear of the Lightning for top spot in the Atlantic, plus they’d still hold a game in hand. Obviously, a regulation loss would mean a tie in points.
The two teams play once more down the stretch, on March 30 in Montreal.
The Lighting have won all three of the meetings so far this season.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Alex Ovechkin surprised two fans that lost their house and most prized possessions in a fire by giving them an autographed jersey.
NHL general managers will honor Bryan Murray tonight as all 30 GMs get together in Boca Raton, Florida for the GMs meetings. (Ottawa Sun)
New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang isn’t worried about his critics. (Sportsnet)
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Senators’ goaltender Andrew Hammond, better known these days as “The Hamburglar”, picked up a burger off the ice following Ottawa’s 2-1 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
On Saturday night the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones wore jerseys resembling the famous Iron Man suit. (Puck Daddy)
Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner recently met and signed autographs for a fan who beat him at words with friends. (RMNB)
During a stoppage in play between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders on Saturday night Carey Price posed for a selfie with a fan. You can see the image here.