Canadiens again avoid elimination against the Lightning, updates on the Ducks-Flames series, Senators sign college prospect Matt O’Conner plus the latest on the Oilers coaching front.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: P.A. Parenteau’s first goal of the playoffs was the game winner as the Montreal Canadiens snapped a 1-1 tie to edge the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game Five of their best of seven second-round series. Devante Smith-Pelly opened the scoring for the Canadiens while Steven Stamkos tallied for the Lightning. Carey Price made 24 saves for the Canadiens. While the Lightning still hold a 3-2 series lead, there’s a sense the momentum is shifting in the Habs favor.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was yet another game in this series where the Canadiens outplayed the Lightning. By my count, the Habs beat Bolts goalie Ben Bishop cleanly five times in this one, with only two finding the net and three clanging off the posts. Even the Canadiens power play, which was scoreless in this one, showed significant signs of improvement. The Lightning have a tiger by the tail now but they still have control of this series. However, they must step up their performance in Game Six or risk this series getting away from them.
CALGARY SUN: Among the five keys for the Flames to avoid elimination in Game Five tonight against the Anaheim Ducks is stop the latter’s dynamic duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, cash in on the power play and generate offense from their blue line.
ORANGE COUNTRY REGISTER: Up 3-1 in their series against the Flames, the Anaheim Ducks remain focused on Game Five and aren’t looking past this series toward the Western Conference Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The biggest key for the Flames in Game Five: finally win a game in Anaheim for the first time since 2006. They don’t have a choice. If they lose, this series is over.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators won the bidding for Boston University prospect goalie Matt O’Connor by signing him to a two-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This signing creates more intrigue for the Senators, who already have a potential log jam between the pipes. Read more in the “Rumors” section.
SPORTSNET: Those “Mike Babcock to Edmonton” rumors could be premature, as Elliotte Friedman reports the Oilers are expected to focus on signing former San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Should the Oilers sign McLellan, they’ll be getting a well-respected veteran NHL coach, which they haven’t had for several years now.