April 22, 2014, MONTREAL (ISN) – Max Pacioretty scored on a power play with a 43 seconds left to play as the Montreal Canadiens completed a sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.
Montreal won the best-of-seven series 4-0 and now face a long wait for the Eastern Conference semifinal against the winner of the Boston-Detroit series.
Pacioretty was parked on the doorstep to bang the rebound of Thomas Vanek’s shot past Kristers Gudlevskis to send the 21,273 spectators into a frenzy.
The Canadiens entered the third period up 3-1 with a 29-13 shot advantage, but the Lightning tied it by the 6:31 mark on goals from Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson.
A tripping penalty on Cedric Paquette with 2:11 left to play allowed Pacioretty to get the winner on only its second power-play goal of the series.
Daniel Briere, Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal, which posted its first sweep since they took the Buffalo sabres out in four straight in 1993 en route to the last of their 24 Stanley Cups.
Ondrej Palat also scored for Tampa Bay, whose rookie-laden lineup could not keep pace with Montreal. The Bolts also played the series without No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop, who has a left arm injury.
For a second straight game, the Bell Centre was at a fever pitch with old-time pop star Ginette Reno singing the Canadian anthem. But while it took Rene Bourque only 11 seconds in to score the first goal in Game 3, this time it took 2:24 for Briere to open the scoring.
The Lightning defence abandoned the front of their net to chase Dale Weise in a corner and left Briere alone in front to score his first of the series and 51st playoff goal of his career.
The Canadiens had a 15-6 shot advantage in the period and made it 2-0 when Brian Gionta picked Paquette’s pocket in the neutral zone and sent Eller in on the left side to blast a low shot past Anders Lindback.
The Lightning caught a break while killing a penalty at 4:32 of the second frame when Alexei Emelin misplayed a puck behind the net and Palat swept around and pushed the puck in among a pile-up of players. The goal stood up to video review.
But only 1:10 later, Tomas Plekenec sent Gallagher in on the right side to wrist a shot in off the post to restore the two-goal lead. The 21-year-old has five goals in nine career playoff games.
That chased Lindback, who allowed three goals on 20 shots, in favour of Latvian Olympic goalie Kristers Gudlevskis.
The Lightning poured it on in the third and Hedman scored at 3:29 by banking a shot in off Price from behind the net.
Three minutes later, J.T. Brown threw a pass in front that went off P.K. Subban’s skate right to Johnson for a goal on a quick shot from close range.
Notes: The Lightning pulled Radko Gudas, who has a suspected lower body injury, and Tom Pyatt from the lineup and put in Mike Kostka and Keith Aulie. . . Montreal made no changes.