The Tampa Bay Lightning have won the second game of the Stanley Cup Final by a score of 3-1 over the Montreal Canadiens. The Bolts now hold a 2-0 series lead as they head to Canada to potentially close out the series and yet another NHL season in style. Blake Coleman scored the eventual game-winning goal with a diving, Superman-style swat at the puck that was reminiscent of a goal he scored in last year’s playoffs. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 42 of 43 shots he faced in a much busier night than in Game 1.
It should be said that the Lightning didn’t play as well as they did in Game 1, they were sloppy with the puck and inconsistent with their timing, which led to a lot of Habs rushes against. The team was able to hold out long enough for Anthony Cirelli to score first, followed by Coleman’s amazing goal to get the lead back after they tied it, and then Ondrej Palat scoring the easiest goal of the playoffs thanks to an absent-minded Joel Edmundson.
Anthony Cirelli’s Goal
After a shaky start to the game, the Bolts got fortunate with a Cirelli goal finding its way through from the point. Tyler Johnson had done a great job before the goal to win and keep the puck behind the net before moving it up to the point. There was a multi-layered screen in front of Price, including two Bolts and three Habs. Jan Rutta got the secondary assist on the goal after having dumped the puck in.
This was Cirelli’s fifth goal of the playoffs and fifth point in his last five games. Tony had gone quiet for a stretch in the playoffs as it was mostly Brayden Point doing the scoring for the team. As Point’s waned from his historic scoring streak, Cirelli’s been there to pick up the slack.
Cirelli's shot goes through a lot of traffic on the way in pic.twitter.com/MEOAjrLcDp— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) July 1, 2021
The Habs Goal
Nick Suzuki scored from the power play to tie the game in the second period. It was a rough knuckler that caught everyone flat-footed. It would’ve been better if Vasilevskiy went into the butterfly to be safe, but he tried to direct the puck with his paddle but missed.
The Habs were coming off a big offensive shift after the Cirelli goal as the Lightning collapsed a bit, and it kind of felt like a goal from them was inevitable. Luckily that was all they could muster in the game.
Nick Suzuki ties it on the power play— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) July 1, 2021
Right through the five-hole pic.twitter.com/NNl8c7JQkp
Blake Coleman’s Goal
I want you to cast your mind back a year, to the Lightning vs. Bruins series, when Blake Coleman did this.
Now watch as he does the exact same thing, AGAIN!
0.3 seconds left in the period— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) July 1, 2021
Goodrow to Coleman. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/CFKp1jIQMG
In case you don’t remember last year’s goal, it was also set up by Barclay Goodrow who made a great move in the neutral zone to beat a defender before flipping the puck to Coleman for the effort. Here they are lined up.
What made this year’s goal even better was that it came with 0.3 seconds left in the second period and it was created thanks to a turnover in the neutral zone caused by Ryan McDonagh. It was brilliant.
We even got GM JBB’s reaction. I can just picture him saying “huzzah!”
Julien BriseBois reacting to the Coleman goal pic.twitter.com/iJZuM4Gs0i— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) July 1, 2021
Ondrej Palat’s Goal
So now the Lightning had the lead and they needed to hold it for the entire third period. The Habs launched 26 shots towards the net, including 14 scoring chances, but Andrei Vasilevskiy stayed strong. With a few minutes to go, the Bolts got the break they needed when Joel Edmundson carelessly reversed the puck behind the net only for the puck to land on Palat’s stick. His shot was technically going wide, but it ricocheted off a surprised Price’s pad and into the net. This goal gave the Lightning their two goal lead, which they held until the game was done.
Edmundson gives the puck away from behind the net and Palat banks it in off Price's skate pic.twitter.com/otGchwCtcb— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) July 1, 2021
Tyler Johnson’s Night
TJ had to play substitute after Alex Killorn was forced to sit out with a foot injury after blocking a shot, and credit to the guy because he had a heck of a game. Johnson had five shots and two scoring chances playing on the second line, and assisted on the first goal of the game. He worked really hard in front of the net, battling for pucks against guys who were much bigger than him.
Tyler Johnson going soccer mode in front of the net pic.twitter.com/Kdnb7E23hw— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) July 1, 2021
He was also out there blocking shots, directly filling in for the man he replaced.
TJ was the first of the new generation to show that being small doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of the net. I don’t think anyone has any bad feelings TJ, the past couple seasons have just shown the ugly side of a long contract in a cap situation that’s been hard to work within. Through all that, he’s played his role, even if it was on the fourth line. This is probably his last year as Seattle looms on the horizon, so it’s good to see him playing well and contributing. He’ll be thought of fondly here I’m sure.
The series moves to Monteral for Game 3 on Friday. The crowd may not be as large in Bell Centre, but expect them to be quite boisterous for their first Stanley Cup FInal game in a long, long time.