canadiens tanpa priceTyler Johnson banked a shot off Tom Gilbert’s skate past Carey Price at 1:03 of overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 1-0 win over the Canadiens Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. It was Tampa’s third win in three outings against the Habs and with the win they moved to within a point of the Canadiens for the Eastern Conference lead. The Canadiens continue to hold a game in hand. The Molson Cup three stars of the game were goaltenders Careyt Porice and Ben Bishop and Johnson.

Adding It Up –

The Only Way They Can – The pattern is well-established. The Canadiens are deprived offensively. They spend far too much time in their own end of the ice and when their discipline breaks down and a puck winds up in the scoring areas they depend on Carey Price to save them. And he did, at least to the point that the Canadiens got away with a point and stayed on top in the Eastern Conference.

The Wall – They only way the Lightning were going to beat Price in this game was on a bad bounce and that’s what it took. Tyler Johnson circled the net and threw the puck in front where Tom Gilbert was defending. The puck hit Gilbert’s skate and went in. Game over.

The Numbers Game – It’s impossible to make these numbers sing their own tune. Scoring chances in the game 24-12 in Tampa’s favour. The unblocked shot attempts (AKA Fenwick Numbers) 43-24. Shots on goal 36-19 including 13-2 in the third period and overtime. The question to be asked is ‘how did this game wind up in overtime’ and the answer, as it is almost every night is – Carey Price.

More NumbersPrice‘s shutout streak ended at 150:47. Even so, his goals against average dropped two points to 1.87 and his save percentage went up to .937. And his Hart Trophy credentials jumped another point or two as well.

canadiens tampa galchenyukAlso Worth Mentioning ……The Canadiens had only one power play opportunity and they were awful at it again. I am always shocked that a power play that can put Subban, Markov, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Desharnais, Galchenyuk and the others on the ice has such poor puck possession with the man advantage. …….On the other side, penalty killing was outstanding. The Habs were shorthanded four times and all the Lightning could muster was a total of five shots. …..When a team is not producing much offense, the defensive players stand out and the de la Rose/Eller/Smith-Pelly line seemed to stand out more than the others. ….Most of whatever offense we saw from the Canadiens came from the Plekanec/Gallagher/Galchenyuk line which produced five of the twelve scoring chances. Not much out of Pacioretty which probably means we’ll see Gallagher replace Dale Weise on the right side of the line next game.

Moving On – The Canadiens host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night and then three in a row on the road two more tough outings at Long Island Saturday night, back in Tampa Bay on Monday and then the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.