The Montreal Canadiens were without two of their top forwards in their Thursday night matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning leading to Karl Alzner having to play at the forward position.
The Montreal Canadiens fell behind early in the game with a quick goal by Lighting defenceman Victor Hedman that even without the traffic in front of him, Carey Price would not have been able to stop.
a response only culminated by the Montreal Canadiens by forward Joel Armia who almost completed his breakaway but the Canadiens weren’t the ones doing the scoring just yet. With a two on one, Carey Price was bested by Alex Killorn on a shot that his glove could not reach in time.
By the end of the period, the shots were 12-8 for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It was difficult to find any positives as the Canadiens struggled in the opening minutes of the second period when trying to gain any momentum and create chances which would end up being representative of what we would see for the entirety of the period.
At the last minute, Nikita Kucherov scored to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead setting up a large uphill climb for a Canadiens comeback.
The shots 20-19 in favor of the Montreal Canadiens by the end of the second period. The Canadiens appeared to be outplaying the Lightning in certain facets of the game at this but its clear they were desperately missing Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar but even, the issue is a lack of high-end talent to beat a team like this
Getting one passed Andrei Vasilevskiy was not looking likely but the Canadiens nonetheless continued to increase their shot count but with no high-danger chances, the count was not particularly representative of their play. This changed in the last four minutes where the Canadiens were given a powerplay that saw them set up multiple chances to put themselves on the score board but were unable to get anything past the Lightning goaltender. And so the powerplay woes continue.
The Lightning went on the powerplay where Victor Hedman inevitably scored his second goal of the night to increase the Lightning’s lead to 4-0.
Montreal Canadiens Player of the Game
Joel Armia was all over the offensive zone against Lightning and easily could have had a multi-goal game by the first period with some slightly better finish.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention just yet but given the amount of games remaining and the gap in points to reach a spot, all the Canadiens have left to play for is their pride.
The Florida Panthers will host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday at 7:00 PM.