Canadiens sweep past Lightning
Max Pacioretty lifted the Montreal Canadiens into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last night with a power-play goal with 43 seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory and a four-game sweep of Tampa Bay.
The first team to advance this year, the Canadiens also got goals from Daniel Briere, Brendan Gallagher and Lars Eller. Montreal now faces a long wait for the Eastern Conference semifinal against the winner of the Boston-Detroit series.
Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Victor Hedman pulled the Lightning within one goal three minutes into the third period, and Tyler Johnson tied the game three minutes later.
Lightning backup goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis replaced Anders Lindback after Gallagher’s goal 5:42 into the second period. Lindback gave up three goals on 20 shots, while Gudlevskis stopped 16 of 17 shots in relief.
Pacioretty was parked in front to bang the rebound of Thomas Vanek’s shot past Gudlevskis and thrill the 21,273 spectators. A tripping penalty on Cedric Paquette with 2:11 left put Montreal on the power play and Pacioretty got only the Canadiens’ second power-play goal of the series.
Montreal posted its first sweep since taking out Buffalo out in four straight in 1993 en route to the last of its record 24 Stanley Cups.
Tampa Bay’s rookie-laden lineup could not keep pace with Montreal. The Lightning also played the series without No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop, who has a left arm injury.
It took only 2:24 for Briere to open the scoring.
RANGERS 4, FLYERS 1
Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, Dan Girardi and Dan Carcillo scored goals, leading the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Friday in Philadelphia.
Lundqvist was backed by a defense that delivered with a flurry of blocked shots to stymie the Flyers. The Rangers took an early 2-0 lead and that was enough of a cushion for a team that led the Eastern Conference with 25 road victories.
Mark Streit scored for the Flyers.
Ray Emery struggled in net in his third straight start of the postseason for Steve Mason, and was lifted late in the third period.