Canadiens suffer demoralizing 3-1 loss in Game 2 to Lightning

Montreal shoot 43 shots at Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, but Blake Coleman’s last-second second-period goal turns out to be the winner

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Andrei Vasilevskiy wins the goalie battle against the Canadiens’ Carey Price. Vasilevskiy made 42 saves to lead the Tampa Lightning to a 3-1 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday night at the Amalie Arena. The victory gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final in the best of seven games.

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The series is now moving to the Bell Center for Game 3 on Friday (8 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

The Canadians outscored the Lightning by a wide margin in the second period, but started the second intermission 2-1 behind after Blake Coleman scored with three-10ths of a second left in the period. The Canadians failed to advance the puck into the neutral zone and Barclay Goodrow led a two-man run after escaping a Ben Chiarot hit at the blue line. Goodrow’s cross pass was off target, but Coleman dove onto the ice and put his stick on the puck as he was checked by Phil Danault.

The Canadians outscored the Lightning 16-2 in the period before Tampa Bay took a power play at 16:38 and recorded the last five shots of the period.

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As Montreal littered Vasilevskiy with pucks the entire game, the only shot that beat him was a harmless Nick Suzuki backhand on a power play midway through the second. Corey Perry offered a screen up front and the rolling puck went through Vasilevskiy’s pads.

The Lightning opened the scoring on Anthony Cirelli’s point shot. There were four players in front and the puck went through Jon Merrill’s legs before coming out of Price’s blocker.

Ondrej Palat took advantage of a gift from Joel Edmundson to score an insurance goal late in the third period.

Neither team managed to score in the first period, but the Canadians outscored the Lightning 13-6 and tested Vasilevskiy with three breakaways – two by Nick Suzuki and one by Tyler Toffoli.

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The Canadiens had an anxious moment in the middle of the period when Price came out of the net to play the puck and his pass to the corner was caught by Steven Stamkos. He went straight to the net, but failed to pull a good shot because he was cut by Paul Byron.

Montreal’s penalty kill saw its 32-game kills streak shattered when Stamkos scored a power-play goal late in Game 1, but he started a new streak by killing three power-play. The Canadians went 1-for-3 on the power play and each team had five shots with the extra man.

Both teams have made roster changes.

Joel Armia replaced Jake Evans in the fourth row with Corey Perry and Eric Staal. Armia took a false positive test for COVID on Sunday and did not accompany the team on their charter flight. He took a private flight on Monday, but the Canadians decided to give him more time to adjust.

Alex Killorn, who took a shot off Jeff Petry’s foot in Game 1, did not dress. His spot on Tampa’s second row was taken by Tyler Johnson, who moved up from fourth row to join Cirelli and Stamkos. Mathieu Joseph filled Johnson’s place on the fourth line.

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