Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Canadiens 5, Lightning 4 (OT)

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[April 17, 2014]  TAMPA  Canadiens 5, Lightning 4 (OT): Dale Weise scored 18:08 into overtime to lift visiting Montreal in Game 1 of its Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against Tampa Bay.

Captain Brian Gionta and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist and Tomas Plekanec and Thomas Vanek also tallied for the Canadiens, who held a staggering 44-25 edge in shots on goal. Carey Price allowed four goals on 16 shots in regulation but he made several big stops in overtime and finished with 21 saves.

Danny Briere set up the game-winning tally with a pass from behind the net to an unmarked Weise, who buried the shot from the bottom of the right circle. Montreal scored only four goals in regulation in losing three of four to the Lightning this season.

Captain Steven Stamkos had a pair of tallies, Alex Killorn scored one goal and set up another and rookie Nikita Kucherov also tallied for Tampa Bay. Anders Lindback made 39 saves for the Lightning, who will host Game 2 on Friday night.

A turnover by Michael Kostka helped Montreal take its first lead at 3-2 on Eller's goal 5:10 into the third, but Killorn knotted it two minutes later with a turnaround blast from the left circle. Vanek worked a give-and-go with David Desharnais, reaching out to chip the puck past Lindback with 8 1/2 minutes to play, but Killorn led a 2-on-1 down the left side and sent a crossing pass that Stamkos steered into an open net to tie it with 6:33 remaining.

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Stamkos finished an end-to-end rush with a wrist shot to the far corner to put the Lightning ahead with 6:36 left in the middle period, but the Canadiens tied it at 2-2 with a short-handed tally three minutes later when Gionta broke in alone and batted in his own rebound. Kucherov opened the scoring midway through the first but Plekanec answered 19 seconds later, faking defenseman Radko Gudas off his skates and burying a wrist shot from the left dot to the top corner.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Montreal's power play failed on both chances in regulation and is 0-for-25 over the past nine games. ... Lightning LW Ondrej Palat, who leads the team in scoring, went to the locker room after one shift in the third period with an upper-body injury the same ailment that forced him to miss the regular-season finale. ... Briere notched his 110th point in 109 postseason games while Vanek scored his 26th goal in 37 games versus Tampa Bay. ... Stamkos netted his seventh and eighth career postseason goals.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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