They took a bunch of dumb penalties and the Lighning gave them an Ivy League education on what a successful power play looks like.
The 4-on-3 that Nikita Kucherov scored on to put the Bolts up 3-1 looked like they were toying with the Habs and the goal that Hedman put in on the following power play just four minutes later was downright surgical.
It all started so well.
The Habs came out strong. Jeff Petry opened the scoring and the Canadiens were looking like a team that could take it to Tampa Bay with a strong forecheck. Then they were forced to play the final six games of the first period down a man because of a four-minute penalty to Brandon Prust followed swiftly by a two-minute minor to P.K. Subban.
The dreaded late goal left the Canadiens tied at one after a well played first period. Cue the Pod Person that is Andrei Markov coughing up the puck to a Steven Stamkos that was all to happy to finally put one in this post season in the second period. The Lightning took the lead and never looked back.
The rest of the game was not pretty from a Habs perspective.
The penalties continued to pile up and the Lightning made them pay, scoring four of their six goals with the man advantage.
The Bell Centre emptied out with 13 minutes left on the clock and honestly the most exciting part of this evening was Brandon Prust meeting the media after the game saying that before giving him a game misconduct, referee Brad Watson called him every name in the book including a piece of bleep, a coward, among other things.
Prust didn't stop there saying that Watson is the kind of referee that likes to play God and that he wants to control the game and that is exactly what he did tonight. I expect Prust will be a little lighter in the wallet come tomorrow.
The NHL generally doesn't look kindly at this kind of, ahem...constructive criticism when it comes to the guys in pinstripes.
As for Watson…like a trusted colleague said to me after the game, the only person getting in trouble for that is Prust. 2 years ago, Prust gave us the gift of the Bug Eyed Walrus quote in reference to then Senators coach Paul MacLean.
He delivered once again this post season. Now if only he could put that creative mind to use on the ice.