The chances were there for the Canadiens from time to time, but 6’7″ Ben Bishop was a wall. A high wall. And much of the time Tampa Bay dominated but led only 1-0 in the third.
And wouldn’t you know it, the Canadiens would tie a game they shouldn’t have been close to doing, with just 4:38 seconds left in the third period, only to lose 2-1 in the shootout.
They also did their best to lose it several times in the late going, with chances starting to come and Carey Price playing like Jacques Plante, when suddenly Rene Bourque took a penalty for high sticking at 16:27 of the third, then Lars Eller went off at 18:54 for a face-off violation, and just forty seconds into overtime, Andre Markov went to the box for shooting the puck over the glass.
But Price continued to be sensational throughout, until of course the shoot-out, a time when things just don’t go right. Price struggles with these clear-cut situations, and the laws of nature say it’s a terrible combination when his shooters can’t put the puck in the ocean with their own chances.
How come other teams manage to beat goalies in shootouts?
Galchenyuk – nope, Tampa – yes, Briere – nope, Tampa – nope, Gallagher – nope, and the game ends 2-1 for the visitors and the Habs get a point thanks to Carey Price and no one else.
The Lightning played like a real team – quick both ways, solid checking, sound goaltending. The Canadiens often looked lost and confused. Like it was them who were without Steven Stamkos, not Tampa.
Not a good night for the Canadiens, except for Price, even though they kept it close and managed a point. So I suppose if you look at it that way, it was a good night after all. But they were tremendously outplayed, outshot 45-29, and the Bell Centre only came to life when the puck bounced in off Briere.
A perfect road game for Tampa. A less-than-dazzling display by the home team. And three seriously ill-timed penalties is enough to drive a man to drink.
Brendan Gallagher, with his new mustache, looks like a young apprenticing porn star. Did he have that the other night or is it black felt pen?
Max assisted on Briere’s marker.
Is it fair to say Rene Bourque isn’t exactly helping right now? What do you think Mayor Coderre?
Next up – Friday in Columbus