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Late game heroics from Perry and Palat propel Lightning past Montreal

In their first meeting since the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, late game heroics proved to be the difference maker as Tampa squeaked by the Canadiens. Montreal played a sharp game that made it difficult for Tampa to score on lucky chances. Neither defense really played terribly per say, but for most of the game luck was not on Tampa’s side. However, the Bolts woke up when it mattered the most and stole the game away in the final minutes of regulation.

 

Slow start

Montreal looked to strike early, but Andrei Vasilevskiy was able to make the saves. Canadiens offense continued to keep the pressure on the Lightning in the early minutes before Tampa was able to regain control of the puck. Montreal did a great job moving the puck, but could not generate many scoring chances. It was a sluggish start to the game for the Bolts offense and that would continue for half of the period. The Habs played much faster than the Lightning, but a turnover allowed Tampa to strike first.

Trading penalties

Kale Clague fanned on a clear attempt which allowed Pat Maroon to easily get one past Jake Allen and give the Bolts a 1-0 lead. Montreal nearly answered back however the puck would not go past Vasy. The Habs received the first power play of the night after Boris Katchouk is called for holding. Canadiens power play has been abysmal all season and that continued tonight. Soon after Tampa received their first chance on the power play. Ben Chiarot was called for holding and the Bolts looked to add to their lead. The Habs were able to kill off the penalty and that would be all for the first period.

Montreal takes command

Lightning looked better to start the period as opposed to the start of the game. While they did not score, Tampa maintained control of the puck in the early stages of the second period. Bolts defense did turnover over the puck, but Zach Bogosian was able to recover and keep the puck out of harms way. Montreal however would score soon after. Nick Suzuki took advantage of the loose puck and fired the puck past Vasilevskiy to tie the game 1-1. Steven Stamkos nearly answered back, but missed the net short side. Montreal later gained the 2-1 lead after Mike Hoffman scored off a face-off in the Lightning end. Montreal then regained control of the flow of the game and pressured the Lightning for most of the period. Lightning offense looked as sluggish as they did in the first which was problematic for the team.

Frustration leaks out

The defense could only do so much before they break apart and the Bolts needed to find an answer fast. Montreal keep the foot on the gas pedal with no signs of slowing down. Bogosian did not take kindly to the Alexander Romanov trip on Anthony Cirelli and immediately went after him. Both would be sent to their locker rooms for the remainder of the period, but Bogosian was given a misconduct penalty. Bogosian was also booked for instigating meaning the Lightning would not see him back on the ice for an extended period of time. David Savard is called for tripping on Corey Perry giving the Bolts a late power play opportunity that would carry over to the third period.

Offense remains silent

Canadiens killed off the penalty to start off the period. Teams later exchanged solid scoring opportunities with neither finding a goal. Allen made a spectacular flurry of saves to prevent a Lightning rush from scoring the equalizer. Soon after Vasy made a solid stop of his own after a pair of Habs set up a scoring play. Montreal generated more scoring chances, but Vasy was able to make the necessary saves. With just over 10 minutes to go Tampa would get a chance on the power play after Suzuki is called for hooking. Bolts had some good looks but could not score on the man advantage. That was the best Tampa’s offense looked all night.

Late game drama

Just when it looked like all was lost for the Lightning, red hot Perry comes to the rescue. After pulling Vasy, Stamkos fed the puck to Perry who was in front of the net at the right time to score the equalizer. With less than a minute to go Alex Killorn dishes a perfect pass to Ondrej Palat who buries it past Allen giving the Bolts a 3-2 lead. The late game goals from Perry and Palat gave the Bolts the 3-2 comeback victory in Montreal. Tampa is now a perfect 3-0 on the road trip.

Three stars of the game

1st Star: Ondrej Palat – 1 goal (ended up as the go-ahead-goal)

2nd Star: Nick Suzuki 1 goal, 1 assist

3rd Star: Corey Perry – 1 goal

 

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