The second round won't go away quietly, not that anyone (outside of those teams' respective fans) will complain much about that. While two more series could be decided Sunday, the lone one on Saturday’s slate will go at least six games.
Let’s get right to the recap:
CANADIENS 2, LIGHTNING 1
— Very hard to believe this: For the first time in their 97-season history, which includes 82 playoff appearances, the Canadiens have forced a Game 6 when they trailed 3-0 in a series. Tampa Bay holds a 3-2 series advantage as it shifts to Amalie Arena on Tuesday.
— For the majority of the series, the Canadiens have not been rewarded for their strong even-strength play. The 3-0 hole was not really indicative of that. Carey Price was below average in two games, with Game 2 featuring four power-play goals for Tampa Bay. From a shot-attempt standpoint at five-on-five, the Canadiens and Lightning played a pretty even game — both had about 47 when adjusting for score effects. However, Tampa Bay led with 25 scoring chances, compared to 14 for Montreal, according to war-on-ice.com, meaning their shot quality was better.
— P.A. Parenteau, due to injury and some healthy scratches, has played in seven of the Canadiens’ playoff games. He scored the game winner in this one, the first of his career in 14 playoff games. He also had an assist in Game 4. PK Subban made this goal happen, though, keeping the puck in the zone, but holding onto it and quickly moving to the outside to deke past an onrushing Alex Killorn, before feeding it to Parenteau for the winner. Those are the types of patient plays that make Subban one of the best defensemen in the game.
— Devante Smith-Pelly also scored his first goal of the playoffs, 9:01 of the first period. He has two of his three playoff points over his past five games. He played 9:54. Smith-Pelly recorded three points in 20 games after being acquired by Montreal. The 22-year-old has not yet developed into an offensive threat, though his track record shows the ability is there.
— Steven Stamkos picked up his second goal of the playoffs when he tied up the game at 9:27 of the third period. He also had three shots on net in 17:07. The Lightning captain has points in four games in a row, though he got no shots on goal in the two games prior. Stamkos played on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn. Ryan Callahan was moved down to play with Cedric Paquette and Brian Boyle, though he ended up playing with a few other linemates as coach Jon Cooper tried to get him going. Callahan ended up logging only 13:16, with a negative-10 shot-attempt differential.
— Anton Stralman finished with a game-high, plus-12 shot-attempt differential. He helped generate 22, while giving up only 10 against. Stralman wasn’t a “negative” against anyone on the Canadiens. One of the most underrated top-pairing blueliners in the game continues to get the job done.
— Both goalies played very well. Carey Price stopped 24 of 25 shots to win his second game in a row. The .960 save percentage is his best since Game 4 of the first-round series. Price has been up and down in this series. He sports a 2.16 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in the playoffs.
— Ben Bishop has lost two in a row, though he did enough to win this game, blocking 27 of 29. After a shaky first round, Bishop has played very well in the Eastern Conference semifinal series, drifting below a .931 save percentage only once — Game 4 (11 saves on 14 shots). While Price’s home/road save percentages are pretty much identical (.933/.934), Bishop performed much better at home (.925/.904).
— For a team that was as good as the Lightning this season, I just can't see them losing four games in a row. I think they possess too deep a roster, with a great coach and a goalie who seems to be getting more comfortable with playoff hockey. That being said, the Lightning need to get it done at home.