NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Tampa Bay
(Wednesday, April 16th)
Final Score: Montreal 5, Tampa Bay 4 (OT)
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Dale Weise tallied with 1:52 remaining in overtime, as the Montreal Canadiens got the jump on the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 5-4 win in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
Weise was the recipient of a pass by Danny Briere from behind the goal line and to the edge of the right circle, where he netted his first career playoff marker with a successful wrister.
Brian Gionta and Lars Eller picked up a goal and assist each for the Canadiens, while Tomas Plekanec and Thomas Vanek also lit the lamp for the third-place team in the Atlantic Division.
Carey Price picked up the win despite stopping just 21-of-25 shots.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven set is scheduled for Friday in Tampa.
"It's nice to come in and get one here but it's still a long series and they have a great team," said Gionta. "It was back-and-forth and it'll be no different the next game."
Steven Stamkos scored twice, including the game-tying goal with just over 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation, for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn also produced goals in the setback.
Subbing for the injured Ben Bishop, Anders Lindback's first career NHL playoff start went well despite the loss, as the rangy Swede came up with 39 saves.
"We didn't get the win so it's tough to find positives," said Stamkos. "Five goals against is way too many in the playoffs. Hopefully now everyone has a taste of playoff hockey, they know what it's all about."
Kucherov opened the scoring just after the midway point of the opening period, sliding a shot between Price's pads from the slot. Plekanec evened things only 19 seconds later, taking an Alexei Emelin pass and beating Lindback high to the far side on the left wing.
Stamkos put the hosts ahead with a laser shot from the right circle off an end-to-end rush at 13:24 of the second period, then Lindback sealed off the upper quadrant of the net on the ensuing shift and Plekanec's unchecked bid from in front caromed off the left post.
Gionta's short-handed breakaway netted two scoring chances, and the last one slid past Lindback for a 2-2 game with 3:21 left in the second.
The back and forth continued as the game wore on.
Eller's rush up the right wing resulted in a successful wrister from the high slot that gave the Canadiens a 3-2 advantage with 5:10 played in the third. Just over two minutes later, Killorn's one-timer from the left circle off a Habs turnover made it 3-3 on the Bolts' first shot of the period.
Vanek untied it off a slick pass from David Desharnais in a 2-on-2 situation with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, but Stamkos tapped in a Killorn feed off a 2-on-1 for a 4-4 game less than two minutes later.
The Bolts survived a high-sticking infraction to Killorn with 2:01 left in the third period, and Price got a pad on an open Killorn chance with eight minutes left in overtime.
Montreal's Max Pacioretty had a half-open net inside of three minutes to go in the extra session, but flipped the shot off the left post.
This is the second time the two franchises have met in the postseason, with the Lightning sweeping Montreal in four games in the Eastern Conference semifinals during its 2004 Stanley Cup championship season ... Montreal earned its first playoff overtime victory since a 3-2 decision at Washington in Game 1 of the East quarterfinals on Apr. 15, 2010 ... Tampa Bay suffered its first postseason OT defeat since falling by a 3-2 count in double overtime at Pittsburgh on Apr. 20, 2011 in Game 4 of an Eastern quarterfinal ... Bolts forward Ondrej Palat left the game in the third period and did not return with an upper-body injury ... Lindback's only previous playoff experience was a 13- minute, nine-save performance for Nashville in 2011.
04/17 01:02:43 ET