All that talk about the Tampa Bay Lightning is for naught. They managed to close out the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night, shutting the Habs down for a majority of the contest. Montreal only managed six shots in the first period and seven in the third before finally punching through late in the third frame.
Max Pacioretty‘s goal at 15:03 of the third period wasn’t enough to save Montreal’s season, as Tampa’s stars finally showed up to play. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat all found the back of the net for the Lightning. Stamkos’ goal was particularly big, giving his team a 2-0 lead early in the second period.
Stamkos was moved to the wing for Game 6, and that move paid off in a big way for Tampa head coach Jon Cooper.
That tally seemed to energize the team and the crowd, and despite struggling to make plays for six or seven minutes in the third, but Kucherov was able to put the seal on the contest by netting an empty netter.
The Canadiens have nothing to be ashamed about here. They fought hard and tried to overcome a 3-1 deficit before finally buckling in Game 6. A lot of pundits didn’t think that the Carey Price-lead team would be able to put up much of a fight against the deeper and arguably more talented Lightning, but they hung tough.
Tampa will now await the winner of Game 7 between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.