The Canadiens certainly do have a knack for avoiding elimination, don’t they?
Remember way back in May, when the kids from Montreal trailed 3-1 against the Maple Leafs? Yep, they came back and won that series in seven games. The Canadiens staved off elimination on Monday night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Lightning, too, and now they’ll try to do it again two nights later.
“We’re facing a challenge, but there’s a couple of ways to be looking at it, and you can say and be down on yourself, or you can look at a challenge and it’s an opportunity to do something special,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said on Wednesday. “We’re just looking at tonight and we’re ready, excited to play that game and looking forward to that puck to drop.”
Ducharme put his lines in the old blender for Game 4, and the expectation is things will be the same for this one. After all, if it’s not broken, why fix it? As for the Lightning, coach Jon Cooper said Alex Killorn is “doubtful.” He hasn’t played since getting injured in Game 1.
On Wednesday, Tampa Bay will once again look to close things out. The Lightning are a perfect 13-0 over the last two postseasons following a loss — and one of those wins was in Game 6 against the Stars to win the 2020 Stanley Cup.
“I don’t know, we don’t sit here and say, ‘Well, we don’t lose again after a loss.’ That’s not what we think about,” Cooper said following the team’s optional skate on Wednesday. “Usually, when you lose a game, there were holes in your game, whether it was structurally, mentally, whatever it may be that needs to be adjusted and the guys have done a really good job with that.
“But we don’t sit here and say, ‘We’ve got to keep the streak alive’ or ‘This is all good, we don’t lose after a loss.’ That is a recipe for disaster and that never really gets talked about until we come into this type of setting. I just like the way our guys turn the page and dig their heels in and play after a loss, knowing that they’ve got better in them.”
Sporting News has all of the action as the Canadiens look to stay alive in the Stanley Cup Final and force a Game 6.
Canadiens vs. Lightning live score, highlights from Game 5
(All times Eastern)
9:24 p.m. — Pat Maroon walks in but can’t beat Price.
9:21 p.m. — Big-time kill for the Lightning as the Canadiens don’t get a shot on goal.
9:18 p.m. — Savard sends one over the glass and the Canadiens get a power play. They’re 1-for-8 in the series.
9:18 p.m. — Puck has been dropped as we are sitting, waiting, wishing for the first goal.
First period: Canadiens 0, Lightning 0
8:59 p.m. — Period comes to an end.
8:51 p.m. — Five minutes to go and the Canadiens are being outshot 11-3. Where have we heard this before?
8:49 p.m. — Tyler Johnson sends one off the crossbar just seconds after Eric Staal had a chance at the other end.
8:43 p.m. — Still waiting on that all-important first goal.
How important is the first goal?
When the opposition scores:
Tampa is 0 and 5
Montreal in 1 and 6#StanleyCup
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) July 8, 2021
8:41 p.m. — Back to 5v5.
8:40 p.m. — Rutta out of the box and the Lightning have another power play.
8:38 p.m. — With 37 seconds left on the Canadiens power play, puck squirts out and Coleman has a chance on a breakaway but Josh Anderson hooks him on the hands and is called for two.
8:36 p.m. — Coincidental minors to Erik Cernak (interference) and Corey Perry (embellishment). It’s still 5-on-4.
8:36 p.m. — Blake Coleman with the two best chances on the Canadiens power play — and he’s on the Lightning.
8:32 p.m. — Jan Rutta called for cross-checking.
8:28 p.m. — Kucherov walks out of the corner but Price hugs the post. Teams say hi afterward.
8:27 p.m. — Canadiens with bad coverage in the defensive zone but get lucky as Brayden Point is left all alone and can’t handle the puck.
8:26 p.m. — Lightning get the first power play (2-for-12 in the series) as Corey Perry trips Mathieu Joseph. Bolts fourth line again getting things done.
8:21 p.m. — Game on.
8:09 p.m. — Killorn still out.
8 p.m. — Lines are the same for the Canadiens. No Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
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