Lightning-Canadiens: 3 keys to Game 5 of Stanley Cup Final

Lightning Canadiens Game 5 Stanley Cup Final
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The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to lift the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night and complete their repeat bid against the Montreal Canadiens.

The series shifts back to Tampa Bay following Montreal’s 3-2 overtime win on Monday night for Game 5 (8 p.m. ET; NBC / Peacock) and we get you ready for the action with three keys to the game.

1. Special Teams

This was always going to be an interesting matchup because the Tampa Bay power play and Montreal penalty kill were both operating at historic levels entering the series.

Tampa Bay’s power play was clicking at over 40 percent through the first three rounds.

Montreal’s penalty kill was over 90 percent, and had gone two consecutive series without allowing a single goal.

[NHL ON NBC STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Something had to give, and so far it has been the Montreal penalty kill having a slight edge. Tampa Bay’s power play is just 2-for-12 through the first four games of the series, and had a particularly tough game in their Game 4 loss when they went 0-for-4, including a failed attempt on a four-minute double minor that stretched into overtime for three full minutes on a clean, fresh sheet of ice.

The Canadiens penalty kill has more than done its job in this series.

On the other side, the Canadiens have had just seven power play opportunities in total for the series, and only two over the past two games.

For as good as Montreal’s penalty kill has been the more it keeps giving Tampa Bay the bulk of the chances the more likely it is that the Lightning are going to to start converting.

2. Carey Price

Price played by far his best game of the series on Monday night and looked more like the goalie he was in the first three rounds of the playoffs. It is a big reason the Canadiens were able to win and extend the series.

You can be sure they will need a repeat of that performance on Wednesday.

The Lightning have really started to tilt the ice in their favor over the past two games and have held a commanding lead in shot attempts and scoring chances in Games 3 and 4 of the series. That puts a lot of pressure on the goaltending (in this case Price) to keep his team in the game.

In Game 3 Price struggled and all of that pressure turned into a Tampa Bay rout.

In Game 4, with a similar territorial edge for Tampa Bay, he was great and it turned into a Canadiens win.

They will no doubt need that again.

3. Same process should produce better result for Lightning

This kind of goes hand in hand with the second key here, but the Lightning have definitely turned up the pressure in Games 3 and 4 of the series in terms of zone time, territorial play, and chances.

Their Game 4 effort and process was a winning style. They simply did not get the result. If they can duplicate that process, though, the result show follow.

[Lightning need to stick with same approach for Game 5 of Stanley Cup Final]

Andrei Vasilevskiy does not give up three goals very often.

The Lightning have not lost consecutive playoff games since the 2019 postseason.

They are probably not going to hit the post three times again.

Their power play is overdue for a big game.

The talent is there. The process is there. If that continues the result will be there as well.

2021 NHL playoff schedule: Stanley Cup Final – (TB leads 3-1) – livestream link

Game 1: Lightning 5, Canadiens 1
Game 2: Lightning 3, Canadiens 1
Game 3: Lightning 6, Canadiens 3
Game 4: Canadiens 3, Lightning 2 (OT)
*Game 5: Wed. July 7: Canadiens at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (NBC / Peacock)
*Game 6: Fri. July 9: Lightning at Canadiens, 8 p.m. ET (NBC / Peacock)
*Game 7: Sun. July 11: Canadiens at Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (NBC / Peacock)

*if necessary

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    Carrier, Pietrangelo rally Golden Knights past Canucks 5-4

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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Alex Pietrangelo scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and had two assists as the Vegas Golden Knights rallied past the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Monday night.

    William Carrier scored twice and Mark Stone had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights (15-4-1), who overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third. Reilly Smith also scored, while Jack Eichel and Alec Martinez each had two assists.

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    “Once they scored one it was like, `Uh oh, here we go again.’ And we’re back on our heels and they came at us, and then they got three,” Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau said.

    Smith shoveled a puck into the Vancouver net at 8:57 to tie it.

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    ON A ROLL

    Horvat drew the Canucks even 1:47 into the third with a wrist shot from the hash marks. Vancouver’s captain has 15 goals, second-most in the NHL behind Connor McDavid (16). … Brock Boeser‘s assist on the first goal of the game extended his point streak to seven games (two goals, six assists).

    MARKING MILESTONES

    Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault played his 500th regular-season NHL game. Now in his 10th season, the 31-year-old center suited up for Columbus, Tampa Bay and Florida before Vegas selected him in the 2017 expansion draft. … Vancouver defenseman Ethan Bear made his 200th regular-season appearance.

    UP NEXT

    Golden Knights: Host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday in the opener of a three-game homestand.

    Canucks: Begin a three-game trip Wednesday at Colorado.