The playoff series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning was anticipated to be a wide open affair with skill on display, and that is exactly what happened in game 1. The most unexpected hero was Dale Weise as he scored the overtime winner for his first career playoff point as the Habs took home ice advantage away from the Lightning with a 5-4 win.
Montreal got goals from Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta and Thomas Vanek in regulation and 21 saves from Carey Price in the win. It wasn’t Price’s best effort as he posted a save percentage of just .840, but it was enough to escape with the win.
Tampa had 9 players making their post-season debut and they showed nerves at times, turning the puck over for plays that resulted in goals against and they dearly missed Ben Bishop, who has not quite recovered from his arm injury. Bishop cannot get back soon enough as Anders Lindback looked shaky,
Tampa got a pair of goals from Steven Stamkos and singles from Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn in the roller coaster game that saw each team hold the lead twice. Tampa was dealt another injury blow when their leading point getter heading into the playoffs, rookie Ondrej Palat left the game in the second period after going knee to knee with P.K. Subban.
Montreal leads the series 1-0 with game 2 set to go in Tampa Bay on Friday night.