BY: John Mamola
Max Pacioretty’s first goal of the playoffs with forty-two seconds to play was the difference as the Montreal Canadiens sweep the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 4-3 win and advance to the next round of the NHL playoffs.
It was not Anders Lindback’s night in net for the Bolts as the Canadiens took the early lead again on home ice. Daniel Briere’s first shot of the game ran past Lindback just two minutes into the game as Montreal was off and running to a 1-0 lead. The Habs made it 2-0 in the first period as Lars Eller’s slap shot hit the back of the net past Lindback.
Montreal came out firing in the first period as they outshot the Bolts 15-6, and it continued in the second period as the Canadiens overcame an early tally by the Bolts to regain the two goal lead later in the period. Palat scored just under five minutes into the period on a Montreal turnover in their own zone to give the Bolts life at 2-1. Just over a minute later the Habs regained the two goal advantage as Brendan Gallagher slapped a bullet past the right shoulder of Lindback to make it 3-1.
Anders Lindback was pulled after 17 saves on 20 shots after 25 minutes of play in the game.
The Lightning responded with a flurry in the third as they tied the game on goals by Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson as Kristers Gudlevskis was excellent in net for Tampa Bay. The rookie from Latvia was outstanding in net, but a key tripping penalty with just over two minutes left in the game led to a Montreal power play and the game winning goal.
Gudlevskis finished with 16 saves.
The Tampa Bay Lightning wrap up the 2013-2014 season with 101 points and will head home as the NHL playoffs will continue on.