Lightning end Habs’ series comeback attempt, advance to Conference Final

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The Montreal Canadiens made the Tampa Bay Lightning work for their fourth win, but at the end of the day they couldn’t overcome the 3-0 series deficit. After two failed attempts, the Lightning outplayed Montreal in Game 6 en route to a 4-1 victory.

Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop had a strong showing and came within 4:57 minutes of earning his second shutout of the 2015 playoffs. He had plenty of help in this one though as Montreal was held to just 19 shots on goal. Bishop never had to face more than seven shots in a single frame.

That’s in stark contrast to the rest of the second round series where Montreal was able to pepper Bishop with shots. The Canadiens struggles weren’t restricted to the Lightning’s end of the ice though.

A bad turnover by Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec led to Nikita Kucherov scoring the opening goal 15:35 minutes into the game. Steven Stamkos then netted a great marker in the second to provide Tampa Bay with some insurance so that by the time Lightning forward Ondrej Palat found the back of the net, Montreal’s situation was dire:

After two lengthy series, Tampa Bay won’t have too much time to recharge before the start of the Eastern Conference Final. The only silver lining is that its adversary will be just as worn down as Washington and the New York Rangers are set to play in Game 7 tomorrow to determine who will challenge the Lightning.

As for Montreal, this is a disappointing end to what had been a strong campaign. The Canadiens won the Atlantic Division with 110 points and beat Ottawa in six games in the first round. Montreal entered the season looking like Canada’s best chance at representation in the Stanley Cup Final, but that won’t happen. This will mark the 21st straight campaign that an American team has won the Cup.

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