The Montreal Canadiens clinched a playoff berth well over a week ago, learned that they would be facing the Tampa Bay Lightning for certain several days ago, but until this afternoon did not know where they would play game one.
They found out today that they will pack their bags for Florida, and play the opening two games of the 2014 NHL Playoffs as the visitor, and the Lightning will be the host.
Not much has separated the two Atlantic Division teams in the standings for the past few weeks, and when the dust finally settled, the Lightning held a 101-100 edge. It came down to Tampa Bay’s final game of the season today when they traveled to Washington to take on the disappointing Capitals team who just missed the postseason.
Much like the Canadiens final game of the season against the New York Rangers last night, the Lightning and Capitals would head to overtime tied at 0. Anders Lindback looked great in relief of Ben Bishop once again, and shut the door on Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin in the shootout to outlast the Capitals and give Tampa a 1-0 win via a Matt Carle shootout winner.
The rest of the first round series schedule is posted below, courtesy of a tweet sent out by Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette.
It is somewhat odd that the Canadiens will not play on either Saturday night during the series, considering they are the only Canadian team in the postseason and CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada is carrying the series. But, we all know CBC does not care for Montreal anyway so this is just further proof.
It promises to be a very close, low scoring series. As if both teams going to overtime scoreless in the season finale was not enough evidence of this, they faced each other four times during the regular season, and the only game that did not end 2-1 in overtime was a 3-1 win by the Lightning. Their third goal was an empty netter.
There will be plenty of coverage in the next few days leading up to the game one on Wednesday night, so keep your browser on awinninghabit.com for all of your Habs news throughout the Canadiens postseason run.
Tags: Montreal Canadiens