P.A. on the spot
A frequent scratch earlier in these playoffs and during the regular season, Montreal Canadiens forward P.A. Parenteau made the most of his ice time on Saturday, notching the winning goal with 4:07 left in regulation to cement a 2-1 victory over the Lightning to force a Game 6 in Tampa Bay on Tuesday (CBC, CBCSports.ca).
Parenteau received a P.K. Subban pass and wired a shot from the middle of the Lightning zone over the left shoulder of goalie Ben Bishop for his first goal since April 5 against the Panthers in Florida, a span of nine games.
Parenteau's other NHL post-season goal came last spring for Colorado, and he now has five points in 14 playoff contests.
Canadiens' energy player Devante Smith-Pelly also scored his first goal of the 2015 playoffs, opening the scoring at 9:01 of the first period on a wrist shot to the short side over Bishop's right shoulder.
Solid under pressure
Carey Price remained as cool as a cucumber in Game 6 with an impressive 24-save performance.
Tampa captain Steven Stamkos was the only player to beat Price, who is 6-3 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .944 save percentage when facing elimination in the NHL playoffs. The six-foot-three, 215-pounder looked big in his net all game and controlled rebounds. With Montreal clinging to a 1-0 lead, Price stuck out his right leg to deny Brenden Morrow with Tampa pressing late in the second period.
But the Hart and Vezina trophy finalist's best stop came at 7:21 of the third when Price caught a piece of Valterri Filppula's wrist shot with the tip of his glove.
Montreal has quickly put an eight-game losing streak versus Tampa in the past, winning Games 4 and 5 and the Canadiens also halted the Lightning's 2015 streak of five straight wins at the Bell Centre during which they outscored Montreal 18-8.
Prior to Saturday night, Montreal didn't make it past Game 5 in 10 series in which it lost the first three games. So, it gives the team and its fanbase hope that maybe the Canadiens are on their way to something special, as in overcoming a 3-0 deficit to win the series. Only four teams in history – Toronto (1942), New York Islanders (1975), Philadelphia (2010) and Los Angeles (2014) have accomplished the feat.
Stamkos gets shot, scores
Newsflash: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos shot a puck into the chest of Montreal goalie Carey Price from in close with 40.8 seconds left in the first period. It was his first shot in 50 shifts, dating back to Game 2 of the series.
Stamkos didn't register his second shot of the game until 12:16 of the second, in part because he was sitting on the bench while his teammates killed penalties. Stamkos made his third shot count, wristing an Anton Stralman rebound past Price at 9:27 to tie the game 1-1. The goal allowed Stamkos to extend his points streak to four games (two goals, four assists).
Great save, Stralman
Speaking of Stralman, he helped the Lightning stay within a shot of tying the game. With Montreal buzzing the Tampa Bay net during a two-man advantage — yes, the same Canadiens power play that is clicking at 5.9 per cent through 11 playoff games — Stralman swiped away a puck headed across the goalline to keep it a 1-0 game.