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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens Preview and Game Day Thread: End it or Els(a)

The Lightning will try to clinch the Stanley Cup in front of their fans at Amalie Arena.

2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens: ROUND 4, GAME 5

Time: 8:00 PM Eastern

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NBC, CBC, TVAS, SN, Peacock

Opponent SB Nation Site: HabsEyesOnThePrize

On Monday the Tampa Bay Lightning unintentionally fulfilled Tampa’s major Jane Castor’s wish, losing Game 4, and tonight will have a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup in front of their fans in Amalie Arena. The Lightning have not been successful in their attempts to close out the series on first try at late stages of the playoffs in two past years, failing to do it at last year’s ECF and SCF and repeating it during this year’s semifinal and SCF.

The Lightning were very close to end the series on Monday, but the Hockey Gods™ decided that the Canadiens don’t deserve to be swept in their first final series since 1993. The Bolts hit the post three times, including a moment three minutes before the end of regulation, when Nikita Kucherov had an open net in front of him. The Lightning were a dominant team this night, but an opportunistic effort by the Habs and Carey Price, who played his best game against the Lightning this series, didn’t let them win.

Another thing to blame is the Lightning’s power play – one of the most dominant units of this postseason went scoreless, despite having five opportunities, including one four-minute man advantage at the end of regulation which continued into overtime. So far in the series the Lightning are at 16 PP%, which resulted in dropping their overall power play percentage to 33.9 PP%.

According to Jon Cooper, there’s still a chance that Alex Killorn will be able to return for Game 5. A Lightning forward missed the previous three games after blocking a Jeff Petry’s shot with his left ankle during Game 1. Killorn participated in pre-game skate on Monday, but didn’t play and was replaced by Mathieu Joseph.

As for the Conn Smythe Trophy Watch, it seems like Nikita Kucherov stands out as the lone favorite. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been relatively quiet lately, finishing both previous games with a negative goals saved above expected rate, and lost the goaltending duel against Carey Price in the last game. Nikita Kucherov didn’t record any point in his last game, but had a strong game, recording four shots on goal, while his line dominated the opponent with 64.88 xGF%. He could have cemented the trophy by scoring a game-winning goal at the end of regulation, but his shot hit the post after deflection.

The main concern before the game remained hurricane Elsa, which hit Tampa Bay region this morning.

Much like the Elsa, hopefully we already saw the Canadiens’ strongest surge.

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines and Pairings


Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Ross Colton - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos

Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman

Pat Maroon - Tyler Johnson - Mathieu Joseph


Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - David Savard


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Montreal Canadiens Lines and Pairings


Artturi Lehkonen - Phillip Danault - Brendan Gallagher

Tyler Toffoli - Nick Suzuki - Cole Caufield

Paul Byron - Jake Evans- Josh Anderson

Joel Armia - Eric Staal - Corey Perry


Ben Chiarot - Shea Weber

Joel Edmundson - Jeff Petry

Alexander Romanov - Brett Kulak


Carey Price

Jake Allen