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Weise gives Canadiens 1-0 series lead with overtime win

Apr 16, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT

The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning gave hockey fans plenty of what was expected (great work from Thomas Vanek and Steven Stamkos), yet the game was just as much about the unexpected. If the frequently wide-open pace wasn’t surprising enough, Dale Weise broke the star-scoring narrative by notching the 5-4 overtime game-winner to give Montreal a 1-0 series lead.

Let’s take a look back at how the contest came down to Weise’s surprising game-winner.

Score-wise, the game was a seesaw affair as the two teams traded leads throughout. Tampa Bay opened the scoring midway through the opening frame on a Nikita Kucherov marker, but Montreal replied just 19 seconds later when Tomas Plekanec walked Radko Gudas and snapped the puck past Anders Lindback.

In the second period, a similar narrative unfolded — Steve Stamkos gave the Bolts a 2-1 lead at the 13:24 mark, only for Montreal to respond with the equalizer minutes later on Brian Gionta‘s shorthanded tally.

In the third, guess what? More lead changes. This time it was Montreal blowing a pair of one-goal advantages, though, as Lars Eller‘s early marker was canceled out by Alex Killorn‘s first-ever playoff goal; minutes later, Thomas Vanek’s go-ahead 4-3 goal was equaled when Stamkos scored his second of the game with six and a half minutes remaining.

The Bolts hung with the Habs despite being largely outplayed and badly outshot (35-16) during regulation. Lindback, forced into the starter’s role late in the regular season after Ben Bishop went down to an upper-body injury, was solid in the face of heavy action, finishing with 39 saves on 44 shots.

Carey Price was billed as the sure thing in this goalie matchup, yet he had the rougher night in regulation, at least statistically speaking. Chances are, he’ll gladly take a weak outing on paper (he made 21 out of 25 saves) if it means getting a key win.

The two teams get back at it on Friday with the Lightning facing the prospect of heading to Montreal down 0-2. This team has shown remarkable resiliency this season, but Tampa Bay might dig too deep a hole if they can’t bounce back in Game 2.

One bonus note: after all this time, Daniel Briere still seems to have a knack for scoring in the playoffs:

  1. thefinalcut8 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    One of the ugliest defensive performances the Bolts have displayed all season. Lucky that Carey Price wasnt himself tonight or it wouldnt have been a contest. We have to clean up the passing and turnovers (cough) Matt Carle (cough) for game 2 or it will be a short series for the boys in blue

    • 101starmymedic - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Agreed 100% – I’m a Wings fan but I hate the Canadiens with every single fiber of my being. Holy crap did the Bolts give the worst defensive performance I’ve ever seen. Unbelievable. I don’t know if I spent more time enjoying the game or being pissed at the defense. If the Bolts tighten up that defense, they will get that Canadien’s rubbish out of the playoffs easy.

  2. PhillySN - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Glad to see Mr.Playoffs still putting up points in the off season

  3. bsaures - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    The score greatly flattered the bolts in this one they were outplayed badly

  4. penvik - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Bolts looked really defensively challenged. Montreal still too small to go very far.

    • shwatson - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:22 AM

      That’s what Goliath thought about David and last time I checked the game wasn’t played with a measuring stick or a scale.

  5. billiam55 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    boooo

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