Lightning Hang On for 5-4 OT Win in Return to Play

By Michael Wax



The following players/coach missed last night's game due to COVID protocol or injury:


TBL: F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, F Anthony Cirelli, Head coach Jon Cooper, G Brian Elliott, D Mikhail Sergachev, D Andrej Sustr, G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Assistant coach Rob Zettler (COVID-19 Protocol); D Erik Cernak, F Nikita Kucherov (Injury)


MTL: G Jake Allen, D Ben Chiarot, F Laurent Dauphin, D Joel Edmundson, F Mike Hoffman, F Artturi Lehkonen, D Jeff Petry, Goaltending coach Eric Raymond, F Tyler Toffoli, D Chris Wideman (COVID-19 Protocol); F Josh Anderson, F Joel Armia, F Paul Byron, F Christian Dvorak, F Mathieu Perreault (Injury)


Game Summary


1st Period

A couple of roster changes headlined the Lightning's returned to play last night, as both goaltenders being in COVID-19 protocol meant that Maxime Lagacé would play just his second NHL game in two years. The lineup also saw the NHL debut of D Sean Day, and the return of F Brayden Point after a 14-game absence.


Both teams took a while to find their legs after nearly a week off, leading to some sloppy play and missed opportunities. Montreal capitalized first, as a rush chance took Lagacé way too far out of his crease, and the forwards didn't protect his blind side, leading to an easy tap-in goal for Lukas Vejdemo, his second goal in just his eighth NHL game.


After falling behind the Lightning really picked up the pace. The second line of Killorn-Point-Joseph went to work, and Point scored one of the prettiest goals of his career to tie the game at one.


Point continued to be the best player on the ice, and a beautiful forechecking play by Killorn led the 2-1 goal, also scored by Point.



The Lightning controlled the pace of the game after the first few minutes, and Samuel Montembeault was absolutely stellar in net for the Canadiens. His first period was just a glimpse of how good he was during the game.


2nd Period


The Lightning, once again, seemed to control the play throughout the second period, but the refs certainly loved making this a game of man-advantage. SIX minor penalties were called, one of which was a double-minor, so the teams spent a total of 12:11 of the period either up a man or down a man.


Montreal evened the score early in the second period on the first NHL goal of Rafael Harvey-Pinard. An inability to get the puck out of the defensive zone, coupled with Cal Foote not covering anyone and Lagacé being too jumpy in net led to the game being tied.


The Lightning would regain the lead just after the double-minor for high-sticking expired. Ross Colton took a one-timer off the feed from Steven Stamkos, and gave the Lightning the advantage heading into the third period.



3rd Period


Even the Lightning would tell you that this was their worst period of the night. The Canadiens outshot the Bolts 12-8, and outscored them 2-1. The tying goal for Montreal came on a rush chance, where rookie Kale Clague fired a slapshot that may have hit Jan Rutta in the back, but found it's way into the net regardless, for Clague's first NHL goal.


Former Bolt David Savard gave the Canadiens a lead midway through the frame. Off a bad defensive zone turnover from Gabe Fortier, Savard worked his way behind Victor Hedman and scored his first goal since March of 2019.


Even after Savard's goal, the Lightning didn't play with a ton of urgency until Lagacé was pulled for the extra attacker with around two minutes to go. Montembeault continued to make some stellar saves, and it took a no-look pass from Point to Corey Perry to beat him and tie the game at four.



OT


Overtime, like always, was just chaos. Chances for both teams, and a sense of desperation from the crowd. While Brayden Point was the best player on the ice for regulation, Victor Hedman took control of play during OT. Jake Evans lost the puck coming out of the defensive zone, Hedman gathered it, and found a waiting Ondrej Palat for a game-winning one-timer.



Game Stats

TBL MTL

37 Shots on Goal 31

52 Face-off % 48

0/4 Power play 0/4

8 PIM 8

37 Hits 34

6 Blocks 14

3 Giveaways 2


Our Three Stars

1. Point (TBL): 2 Goals, 1 Assist

2. Stamkos (TBL): Assist

3. Killorn (TBL): 2 Assists


Media's Three Stars

1. Point (TBL): 2 Goals, 1 Assist

2. Palat (TBL): OT GWG

3. Lagacé (TBL): 29 SV



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