Montreal Canadiens (56-26-11) at Tampa Bay Lightning (57-29-8)
|Date & Time||Tuesday May 12, 2015, 7:35 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -155 / Montreal Canadiens +135 --- Over/Under: 4.5
The Montreal Canadiens look to even their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning and force a game seven.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had dominated Montreal all season but after a 2-1 defeat at the Bell Centre in game five their series edge is now 3-2 and the Habs have won back to back contests. The high powered TB attack was held in check until late as Montreal played their game and muddied the water so to speak. The Lightning appeared to regain the momentum as they erased a 1-0 deficit halfway through the third only to watch the Canadiens go back on top with just over four minutes left in regulation. Steven Stamkos lit the lamp for the visitors while Ben Bishop recorded 27 stops in absorbing the loss. The Lightning can now end the series on home ice in game six although the pressure is beginning to build.
The Montreal Canadiens were one of the favorites to capture the Eastern Conference but looked dead in the water after falling behind high scoring Tampa Bay 3-0 in the semifinals. However the Habs have risen to the occasion to capture consecutive games to avoid elimination twice and gain confidence versus a team that had beaten them eight times in a row. Great defense and timely scoring will win hockey games and the Canadiens had both on Saturday. Devante Smith-Pelly gave the home team a 1-0 lead at the 9:01 of the opening period which lasted to just over 10 ½ minutes left in the third when the Lightning tied it and made the hearts of Habs fans beat a little faster. Not to worry as Pierre-Alexandre Paretneau netted the game winner with 4:07 left and Carey Price stood tall with 24 stops.
The Canadiens are 2-4 in their last 6 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game and are 2-4 in their last 6 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game. The Lightning are 5-2 in their last 7 overall and are 11-2 in their last 13 Conference Semifinals games. The Canadiens are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings and the road team is 6-3 in the last 9 meetings. Montreal is refusing to go away and with their ability to control the scoreboard always gives them a chance. I’m on the fence here but with no line out I have time to think about it…