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.