SPORTS

NHL playoffs: 3 stories from Tuesday night

05/12/2015 11:41 EDT | Updated 05/12/2016 05:59 EDT
The curtain closed on the Montreal Canadiens playoff run following a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Here are three stories from the Lightning's series-clinching win:

Not in the cards

The Lightning defeated the Canadiens 4-1 to secure a 4-2 series win of the Eastern Conference semifinal featuring the Atlantic Division's top two teams. 

Montreal was the prohibitive favourite as far as the standings were concerned as they earned 110 points compared to 108 by Tampa in the regular season.

However, the caveat entering the series was that the Lightning won all five meeting with the Canadiens in the 2014-15 campaign. 

That trend continued with Tampa jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the series. From that point forward, the hill was just to big to climb for Montreal. They would have become just the fifth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit. 

But credit is due to the Canadiens for tipping their hats to the Lightning.

Stars shine for Tampa

In Game 6, the Lightning's top players rose to the occasion and delivered a performance that was overwhelming for Carey Price and Co. and more than enough to make up for the absence of Ryan Callahan.

A shot by Steven Stamkos over the shoulder of Carey Price put the Lightning in front 2-0.

A goal by Tampa's Ondrej Palat to close out the middle frame all but sealed Montreal's fate.

Time to reflect

It is hardly a secret that the Habs relied heavily on Carey Price during the regular season, a dependence that continued in the playoffs.

Along those lines, it was of little surprise to see Price nominated for both the Vezina Trophy and the Hart Trophy. 

The obvious problem for Montreal was the lack of offensive punch when it was needed most. On paper, the series looked somewhat even, with Tampa outscoring Montreal 17-13. However, in three of the Canadiens' four losses, they were only able to get on the board once.

Even Price's number were down from his regular-season stats, so maybe he has to shoulder some of the blame. 

There is also likely to be some chatter about whether coach Michel Therrien has taken this team as far as it can go.

Either way, it will be a long summer for the Canadiens. 

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