In the Habs' Room: No comeback for Canadiens this time

 

 
 
 
 
Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos scores past Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.
 

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos scores past Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.

Photograph by: Mike Carlson, The Associated Press

More on This Story

 

TAMPA, Fla. – P.K. Subban had some advice for Steven Stamkos after the Tampa Bay sniper scored three goals Monday night to lead the Lightning to a lopsided 7-1 decision Monday night at Amalie Arena.

“I’d tell Steven to enjoy it because it’s not going to happen again,” said Subban.

Those were bold words on a night when the Canadiens had another slow start and an even slower finish. The Lightning grabbed a 2-0 lead, led 4-1 after two periods and never let up in the third. The Canadiens won their first three games by overcoming a slow start, but Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop snuffed any hopes of a comeback with a  spectacular stop on Tomas Plekanec early in the third period. It would be the Canadiens’ only shot in the period as Tampa Bay outshot the Canadiens 18-1 and added three goals.

The Canadiens came back from a three-goal deficit in the third period to beat Philadelphia Saturday night, but there was no pushback here.

“It takes a lot of energy to come back from three goals and I’m glad they did it in Philadelphia and not against us,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
“We’ve played a lot better against this team, i.e. in the playoffs last year, and we just have to park this loss,” said Subban, who was minus-2 on the night, was in the penalty box when Stamkos made it 4-1 and generally didn’t play very well.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to play,” said Subban. “We ‘re trying to figure out our identity. We’re very happy with this road trip and we just have to move on.”

Subban said he thought the Canadiens had some good looks on their four power plays, but this was another example of poor execution with the extra man. The Canadiens’ power play managed only two shots on goal as it went 0-for-4. The Canadiens have had 14 power plays this season and have yet to score.

Of more concern, the penalty-kill gave up two goals and has been scored on  four times in 17 opportunities.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was hard-pressed to find anything good about his team’s performance.

“It was a bad game for all of us and we have to move on,” said Therrien. “As a coach, you can feel the spirit; tonight there was no spirit.”

Cooper said he felt his team deserved the win, but he tried to put the game in perspective.

“When you win three of your first four games on the road, you gotta be clicking your heels but I think they were a little tired, ” said Cooper. “This was Game 4 for them and Game 3 for us, and I think this was a must-win game for us after losing to Ottawa. But this was a tight game. If (Anton) Stalman doesn’t make that save (on Jiri Sekac) early in the second period, it’s a 2-2 game.”

Stamkos failed to score in the Lightning’s first two games and said he was happy to break loose. But mostly he was happy that Tampa improved to 2-0-1 on the season. He said the Lightning wasn’t motivated by revenge after being swept by the Canadiens last spring.

“It’s a new season and we’re just trying to win games,” said Stamkos.

While Stamkos was the No. 1 star in the game, he gave a nod to defenceman Victor Hedman, who opened the scoring and added three assists.

“He’s been on fire all season,” said Stamkos. “He had two points in the first game, three in the second and four tonight. Now, he has to get five in the next game.”

phickey@montrealgazette.com

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos scores past Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.
 

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos scores past Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.

Photograph by: Mike Carlson, The Associated Press

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice