Lightning crushes the Canadiens and the Ducks blank the Flames. Recaps in your NHL Canadian Corner.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Steven Stamkos scored his first goal of the playoffs and collected two assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-2 beatdown of the Montreal Canadiens to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Bolts went four-for-eight on the power play. Habs forward Brandon Prust, assessed 31 PIMs in this game, accused referee Brad Watson of provoking him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the same story we saw throughout the regular season. The Canadiens have no answer for the Lightning’s speed and offensive depth. That leads to undisciplined play and costly penalties, which only makes their situation worse. As this series shifts to Tampa Bay for Games Three and Four this Wednesday and Thursday, it’s not enough for the Canadiens to win Game Three. They must win both games in Tampa Bay to have a shot at winning this series. If they lose Game Three, this series will be pretty much over as I don’t believe the Canadiens can overcome a 3-0 series deficit. As for Prust, his remarks could land him in hot water with the league. He could face a fine, suspension or both.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/CALGARY HERALD: Despite a solid performance by Calgary Flames goalie Karri Ramos (31 saves) and a better effort from his teammates, the Anaheim Ducks still marched to a 3-0 victory to take a 2-0 series lead. Ducks netminder Frederik Anderson made 30 stops for his first playoff shutout, Hampus Lindholm tallied his first postseason goal while Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf each collected two assists. The Ducks have yet to lose a game in this year’s playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames are known as the Cardiac Kids for their ability to rally back from deficits, but I doubt they can counter the Ducks’ depth and experience. While the Flames will try to draw energy from their fans in Calgary for Games Three and Four, it may not be enough. Like the Canadiens, the Flames must win Games Three and Four to have a realistic shot at winning this series.