MONTREAL — Josh Anderson jumped again into the play, and the Montreal Canadiens killed Tampa Bay’s likelihood for a Stanley Cup sweep.
Anderson scored his second objective 3:57 into time beyond regulation, and the Canadiens prevented elimination by defeating the defending champion Lightning 3-2 in Sport 4 on Monday night time.
Carey Value stopped 32 photographs for Montreal, and rookie defenseman Alexander Romanov additionally scored.
The sequence shifts to Tampa Bay for Sport 5 on Wednesday night time.
Interim coach Dominique Ducharme’s lineup modifications paid off as Romanov stepped up in simply his third profession playoff recreation. Anderson was shifted to a brand new line, enjoying alongside Nick Suzuki and rookie Cole Caufield in Ducharme’s bid so as to add extra pace.
It wasn’t misplaced on Canadiens assistant captain Brendan Gallagher how Anderson supplied his teammates with a rallying cry a day earlier when he mentioned: “We’re not completed but.”
“We understood the opening that we have been in, however we simply type of talked about it: Discover a strategy to win one recreation right here,” Gallagher mentioned. “(Anderson) stepped up and scored a few large objectives for us. It’s going to be the identical factor subsequent recreation.”
Montreal grew to become the primary workforce to attain in OT to keep away from a sweep within the Stanley Cup Last because the Bruins did it in 1946 in opposition to the Canadiens, in line with STATS.
Pat Maroon and Barclay Goodrow scored for the Lightning, who’re making an attempt to turn into the NHL’s second workforce to win consecutive championships within the salary-cap period, which started in 2005. The Pittsburgh Penguins achieved the feat with titles in 2016 and 2017.
Anderson received his second profession playoff time beyond regulation objective after he pressured a turnover on the blue line and outraced Jan Rutta and Yanni Gourde to a unfastened puck alongside the left boards. He then directed the puck towards the online, the place Caufield received a chunk of it however pushed it extensive.
Anderson jumped again in entrance and knocked the puck previous Andrei Vasilevskiy contained in the left publish.
Montreal was outscored 14-5 within the first three video games, together with a sloppy 6-3 loss in Sport 3 on Friday.
They received off to a greater begin Monday, because of Carey Value stopping 12 photographs within the opening interval and Anderson changing Suzuki’s centering cross at 15:39 for Montreal’s first lead of the sequence.
Although Tampa Bay rallied twice to tie, the Canadiens by no means relinquished the lead.
Extra necessary, Montreal’s penalty-killers went 5 for five, together with a four-minute high-sticking penalty issued to captain Shea Weber with 1:01 remaining in regulation.
Value made one among his greatest stops of the night time when Brayden Level was arrange within the slot 2:27 into OT. Lightning coach Jon Cooper known as a timeout in a bid to present his high unit a relaxation with 33 seconds left within the penalty.
“Webby is our chief,” Gallagher mentioned. “I believe we’d have killed it for anybody, however he’s been a rock for us since he’s come to our workforce.”
Montreal is accustomed to overcoming adversity. The Canadiens entered the playoffs with the worst report among the many 16 qualifiers earlier than rallying from a 3-1 sequence deficit in opposition to Toronto. Montreal then swept Winnipeg within the second spherical and eradicated Vegas in six video games within the semifinals to advance to its first closing look in 28 years.
The Canadiens improved to 8-1 when dealing with elimination on residence ice within the closing.
“What might we have now carried out completely different? In all probability not hit as many posts as we hit,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper mentioned.
Victor Hedman had his arms raised when he thought he scored throughout a power-play alternative with 4:16 left within the second. Replays confirmed Value received a chunk of the shot along with his blocker earlier than the puck deflected off the left publish.
“Typically you play fairly good and it’s a break right here, a break there that simply doesn’t go your method. You simply go to maintain working by means of it,” Cooper added. “No hanging our heads however I favored loads of issues we did tonight.”
The Lightning nonetheless get an opportunity to clinch the title on residence ice and have a good time with their followers and — extra importantly — household. It was one thing Tampa Bay was unable to do within the restricted-access bubble in Edmonton, Alberta, in September, when it defeated Dallas in six video games or the title.
On Saturday, Canadian well being officers denied the NHL an exemption to permit Lightning gamers’ rapid members of the family to journey to Montreal.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor could have gotten her want in suggesting, a day earlier, that maybe the Lightning “take it just a little bit simple” as a way to win again residence.
Montreal nonetheless faces a frightening climb.
In NHL playoff historical past, solely 4 groups have rallied to win a sequence after dropping the the primary three video games, with Toronto the one one to take action within the closing in beating Detroit to win the Cup in 1942. The Los Angeles Kings have been the final workforce to beat a 3-0 sequence deficit by beating San Jose in a 2014 first-round sequence.