After dropping Game 1 by a score of 5-1 in a lackluster effort, the Montreal Canadiens needed a big Game 2 in order to achieve an incredibly important split in the series before it turns back to home ice on Friday. They’ve managed to do that in two of their three series so far in these playoffs, the lone exception being their sweep of the Winnipeg Jets. It would be huge to take one from the Tampa Bay Lightning and earn a chance to lead the series with games on home ice.
They got the big game, but unfortunately they ran into a big goaltender. Welcome to your Bottom Six Minutes.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was out of this world. The Habs managed to outshoot and out-chance the Lightning, but that is worth exactly nothing if you can’t score. Now the Habs know how other teams have felt when Carey Price has done that in these playoffs.
Ben Chiarot had a monumentally bad decision cause the second Lightning goal with just one second remaining on the clock. He’s been good in these playoffs, but if this team can’t turn this series around, that could end up being one of the biggest regrets of his career.
Joel Edmundson followed that up with a third period gaffe of his own to make it 3-1 for Tampa, and cementing defensive mistakes by Montreal as reason number two behind Vasilevskiy as to why they lost.
In other news, Mikhail Sergachev, former Hab, has turned heel. One game after slamming Brendan Gallagher’s head into the ice, he may have significantly injured another Habs forward in Artturi Lehkonen. Hopefully the league sends a message that they won’t be tolerating that, as his behaviour appears to be leaning towards violence.
Game 3 will go this Friday in Montreal. It will be the most important of the season for the Canadiens, but they’ve pretty much each been that since the beginning of the playoffs, so not much has changed.