National Hockey League
Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, July 5, 2021
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen: David Brisebois, Jonny Murray
Attendance: 3500

Scoring the first goal of the game was huge for Josh Anderson. Scoring the overtime winner was even bigger for the Montreal Canadiens winger and his teammates.

Thanks to Anderson's decisive goal, the host Canadiens claimed a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and avoided a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final.

Shortly after the Canadiens killed a four-minute penalty handed to captain Shea Weber with 61 seconds remaining in regulation, Anderson created a rush up ice by stealing the puck in his own zone and then pounced on a rebound to end the game at 3:57 of overtime.

"It was a big moment," said Anderson, who also had an OT winner in Game 3 of the semifinals against the Vegas Golden Knights. "I wasn't really sure if it did go in at the beginning -- I looked at the ref's hands and saw a bunch people coming to me. It was very fortunate and I'm ready to (go) to Tampa."

Alexander Romanov also scored for the Canadiens, who trail the best-of-seven series 3-1 heading to Game 5 on Wednesday in Tampa. Carey Price made 32 saves for Montreal, which is 4-0 when facing elimination in the playoffs.

Barclay Goodrow and Pat Maroon scored for the Lightning, who are chasing their second consecutive Stanley Cup title. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 18 shots.

The Canadiens are 6-1 in overtime games during this year's postseason, and showed impressive resiliency on a night when they twice saw a lead disappear and came up with a clutch penalty kill.

"Nothing's been easy for us all year, and it wasn't going to start this series," Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher said. "We're definitely aware of the challenge, but every bit of adversity we've faced this year, we've handled well. We got through tonight, but we can't really afford to enjoy it for too long. Move on to the next one and do the same thing."

Anderson opened the scoring with 4:21 remaining in the opening period when he buried a chance from the slot for Montreal's first lead of the series, but Goodrow tied the clash with 2:40 remaining in the second period.

Romanov, playing his first game of the series, became the youngest defenseman in Canadiens history to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final when he restored the Montreal lead at 8:48 of the third period. However, Maroon erased the deficit exactly five minutes later when he redirected Mathieu Joseph's pass on a two-on-one rush.

The Lightning remain in control of the series but are lamenting a missed opportunity, especially with their vaunted power play going 0-for-5.

"We've got to score goals, that's the bottom line," Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We put pressure on ourselves to produce. It doesn't happen. We're disappointed in that."

That said, they generated enough chances to win, as pointed out by coach Jon Cooper.

"What could we have done different? Probably not hit as many posts as we did," Cooper said of his team that rang three golden chances off iron.

Even so, the Lightning aren't stressing. This is a team that has not lost consecutive playoff games in the past two playoff runs.

"In the past, we've done a good job of leaving the previous game in the past if we're coming off a loss," Goodrow said. "We have a great leadership group that gets our minds in the right spot. This game's over and done with."

The Canadiens replaced forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and defensemen Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson with forward Jake Evans and defensemen Brett Kulak and Romanov.

Tampa Bay forward Alex Killorn -- who was hurt in the series opener -- took the pregame skate but didn't play.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Tampa Bay   Montreal
Barclay Goodrow 1 Points Josh Anderson 2
Barclay Goodrow 1 Goals Josh Anderson 2
Blake Coleman 1 Assists Cole Caufield 2
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Andrei Vasilevskiy .857 Save Percentage Carey Price .941
Andrei Vasilevskiy 18 Saves Carey Price 32
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Tampa Bay 34 2 0-5 1-1 14 23
Montreal 21 3 0-1 5-5 20 25
Upcoming Games
  • Montreal will play their next game on the road against Tampa Bay. The Canadiens have a W/L % of .333 after a win and .516 after a loss.
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game at home against Montreal. The Lightning have a W/L % of .639 after a win and .632 after a loss.