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Canadiens vs. Lightning Top Six Minutes: Radulov plays spoiler in overtime

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The Habs throw a wrench in Tampa’s playoff hopes

NHL: Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

Pre-Game:

  • The Habs clinched a playoff spot in a spectacular 6-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday (whoop-whoop!). Gotta keep their foot on the gas. Especially against Tampa. Can’t let them win.
  • This is a big game for Tampa, who are still in the hunt to grab a wild-card spot. Jinx.
  • Friendly reminder - I am not a Tampa fan. Like, at all. No holds barred. There will be Tampa bashing and Carey Price adoration.

First Period:

  • Game on!
  • Dwight King with a mini-breakaway is being chased by Lighting but no go. Hey King! Forgot you were here.
  • So close to a Byron/Gallagher combo goal that we were enjoying during the Florida game. I’d enjoy seeing another one of those, please.
  • Great effort by Radulov and his patience but Vasilevskiy out-waited him like the party-pooper he is.
  • Price stops Vermin’s wrist shot, receiving a little bump in the process but Beaulieu, Shaw and Emelin are having none of it. They’re like the Secret Service protecting the President.
  • The Lightning seem to have picked up the pace a little, keeping the Habs in their zone.
  • Come on guys. Don’t let a team wearing a random third uniform block you in.
  • Jon Cooper throwing a fit (shocking) about Beaulieu’s check on Vermin then sneaking in a little knee to the head action after a check. Be prepared for a lame Beaulieu penalty later in the game.
  • Habs pile on the pressure with 40 seconds left as Pacioretty tries to get on the board.
  • Fast pace to the first period with seven shots apiece.

Second Period:

  • Blank slate. Let’s be the first to get on the board and really spook the Lightning. Good plan.
  • I’ve discovered that I have a little less ... hostility ... towards Tampa now that Ben “Drama Queen” Bishop is gone. Just a little. Not much.
  • I am thoroughly enjoying watching Gallagher morph back into the Gally of days gone by. The speed. The shots. The points.
  • Habs go on the power play after a high-sticking call and Vasilevskiy survives two one-timers by Weber.
  • Now this is what I call a power play! No goals came of it but impressive pressure without looking like you’re scrambling to find the puck.
  • The tables have turned as King heads to the box for holding. Why would you even want to hold a Tampa player?
  • The pace of this game is insane. Have we already entered the playoffs? No, we couldn’t have. Tampa is here.
  • The Habs are all over Vasilevskiy. I can feel it. We’re going to break him.
  • (Forty-seconds later) The top line battles for the puck in front of the net and Danault bangs it through to make it 1-0 and Pacioretty picks up his 200th career assist.
  • Habs head to the power play for the second time after Emelin receives an illegal check to the head by McGregg. Perhaps Shawn Thornton paid him off? Conspiracy.

Third Period:

  • I just realized I haven’t done any Price loving. Considering the Habs have out-shot the Lightning 24-13 so far, he hasn’t seen much action.
  • But, isn’t he awesome? Such athleticism, such focus, such cute dimples...
  • Nice blocked shot by Markov as he drops to the ice to prevent Palat’s shot from getting near Price.
  • Close call by Kucherov but his shot went wide of the net, thankfully.
  • Andrew Shaw hits the crossbar in back-to-back shots. Just a little lower next time, Shaw.
  • Radulov heads to the dressing room after blocking a shot with his ribs.
  • Loose puck has Byron racing towards to net! This usually ends well, but not this time.
  • Tampa finally able to fool Price to make it 1-1 with eight minutes left. Booo....
  • Petry goal! Wait...it’s waived off. Yup. Incidental contact with the goalie by Martinsen.

Overtime:

  • Hang in there Price!
  • Back and forth shots until Radulov puts a stop to it in less than a minute!
  • Sorry Tampa.

EOTP 3 Stars

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