Keeping with the epic theme of the playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens found themselves in a do-or-die game Sunday versus the Boston Bruins. The Habs trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of play, and then came storming back to tie the game, only to fall behind the Bruins again. It looked like another early exit for the Habs, as many fans were beginning to take bets for how long it would take before the Habs were eliminated from the playoffs.

The Montreal Canadiens will be back in Ottawa tonight for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals after their dramatic 3-2 overtime win on the ice of the Bell Center. It was, as expected, a hard-hitting contest, as the two teams combined for 115 penalty minutes, but the game came down to one hard-hitting play. With the score tied 2-2 in the final minutes of regulation, Ottawa’s Mike Fisher was sent off on a 5-minute major penalty for high-sticking Montreal’s Max Pacioretty. With the extra man, the Habs scored two goals on the ensuing power play to force overtime. In the extra period, Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher scored the winning goal for the Habs on a shorthanded bid

The Montreal Canadiens stayed alive in the Stanley Cup Final with a 3-2 victory in extension in Game 4. That allowed them to avoid defeat and send the series back to Florida with the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Did you miss any part of the game? We bring the main findings to your attention.

More: Schedule for the Central Cup Final of the Playoffs

Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in 10 words or less

A Canadiens penalty helps in extra time.

Player of the match: Josh Anderson, F, Montreal Canadiens

Anderson opened and closed out the scoring in Game 4 with the winning goal – his fifth of the playoffs – after 3:57 in overtime. The Canadiens alternated their lineups throughout the game and may have found something special in Anderson’s trio of Nick Suzuki and Cole Cofield.

2 Connected

What worked in Montreal?

The survival game brought out the best in the Canadiens. They were tough and physical and played a fast and brutal game in equal measure. For Cary Price, they were pretty reliable. Did they make the mistakes that allowed the Lightning to score in their fourth game in a row? Yes, of course. But they also won special teams by keeping the best power play in the postseason from scoring and taking a 10-minute lead. Sometimes they bend while playing, but they don’t break, and they live to play another day.

What went wrong in Tampa Bay?

Too many missed opportunities to beat the Canadians. These power games without power. Throws away from the goal line. The Lightning’s top two lines didn’t score a single goal, despite some good chances. There will be no panic here as the series is still 3-1 in their favour. But they’ve just thrown their opponent a lifeline – an opponent already saved after a key loss this postseason.

Objectives

Montreal 1-0 : Josh Anderson (Nick Suzuki, Cole Cofield)|15:39, first period.

JOSH ANDERSON
1-0 #GOHABSGO
@NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/zmjgmIUjxc

– Here’s your replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) July 6, 2021

Everything Montreal didn’t do well, they did well in this game. The Lightning were caught with a bad shift, a mistake they avoided in this series. Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme changed his lines to get more offense and got the first point of the series from Anderson with another flawless game from Suzuki. He waited for a sliding David Savard and found Anderson for a quick shot that beat Andrei Vasilevskiy and was the first and fourth winning goal of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay 1-1: Barclay Goodrow (Ryan McDonagh, Blake Coleman)|17:20, second period

TIE GAME
Barclay Goodrow #GoBolts
1-1
@NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/65Jn6ccB1W

– Here’s your replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) July 6, 2021

What a consequence for McDonagh. He breaks up Jeff Petry’s first pass and keeps the puck in the Canadiens’ zone. The ball went straight into the net where Price deflected Coleman’s shot on goal. McDonagh pulled Petrie from the rebound and fed a perfect pass to Goodrow, who scored from the open net, his second of the playoffs. An incredible job that gave Lightning new life.

Montreal 2-1 : Alexander Romanov (Jake Evans) | 8:48, third period

ALEXANDER ROMANOFF !!!!!!!!!!!!
2-1 #GOHABSGO
@NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/VKgVbI5IcP

– Here’s your replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) July 6, 2021

Two other additions to the Canadiens’ roster are paying off. Evans, who hadn’t played since Game 1, passed the puck to rookie Romanov, who blocked Vasilevskiy’s shot with a timely overlap from Artturi Lehkonen. It was Romanov’s first goal of his career. He became the youngest defenseman in Canadiens history to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final.

Tampa Bay 2-2: Pat Maroon (Mathieu Joseph, Tyler Johnson)|13:48, Third Period

TIE GAME
Pat Maroon #GoBolts
2-2
@NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/5lYyH0AeRo

– Here’s your replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) July 6, 2021

The Lightning answered with a goal made by their fourth line, and Montreal continued their tradition of intercepting the puck for Tampa Bay goals. This time Tyler Toffoli was unable to keep the puck in the offensive zone, allowing Joseph to get out with the puck on a 2-on-1. Romanov made a rookie mistake and missed a pass, allowing Maroon to score its second goal of the season and tie the game.

Montreal 3-2 : Josh Anderson (Cole Cofield)|3:57, overtime

play

0:37

Josh Anderson’s goal in extension gave the Canadiens a 3-2 victory over the Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

After surviving a Shea Weber loss in double-overtime, the Canadiens found new life in the Stanley Cup Final with Anderson’s second goal of the night. In this game, Anderson had an outstanding performance: his quick pass down the left wing opened the game, his one-handed pass to Cofield created a chance, and his quick shot of the puck past Wasilewski before defenseman Jan Rutta had time to recover secured the win for Montreal.

Night Quote

We understood the hole we were in, but we only talked about it. Find a way to win a game here, simplify your mindset. The next game will be the same. Let’s put that behind us as we leave the rink and go home with the same mentality of winning a hockey game. We saw it in the first round against Toronto. You really simplify that mentality, and hopefully you can fight another day.

— Brendan Gallagher, Canadiens forward

Murder at night

Montreal’s penalty killer had an incredible night, although he also got a few friendly rebounds off the goalpost. The turning point in the game came when Weber hit Ondrej Palat with a high shot, sending him down and giving Tampa Bay a four-minute power play at 18:59 of the third period. But Montreal recovered and eliminated the power play with two key saves from Price, and won the game shortly thereafter.

Ping de la nuit

#GoBolts Nikita Kucherov about to give his
team the lead @NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/pdMuhUP43B

– Here’s your replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) July 6, 2021

It doesn’t get any closer than Nikita Kucherov guiding the puck straight off the board into Price’s net. It was one of three great chances that deflected off the goal post for the Lightning in Game 4. We really stepped up our game. We had a chance in regulation time to stop that slide, Lightning coach John Cooper said.

Favorite of the evening

#GoHabsGo Josh Anderson meets #GoBolts Victor Hedman
@NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/A7ZAstb7ni

– Here’s your replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) July 6, 2021

With all due respect to Weber, who tried to finish off Braden Point with a couple of his shots in Game 4, this solid hit by Anderson on Victor Hedman – a pretty big guy – is the most memorable.

Sumo Nights

Fracture.
@NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/ooLc0xwwyJ

– Here’s your replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) July 6, 2021

That’s the benefit of wearing a sumo suit in the Stanley Cup finals. Instead of two people hanging out on the ice with boots on, we see full-blown sumo wrestlers on skates during the break.

Statue of the Night

Maybe we should have seen it coming. Vince Masi of ESPN Stats & Information notes that the Canadiens became the third consecutive team to win a fourth game at 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final since the last win in 1998. The Canadiens also won Game 4 at 3-0 in the series in seven of 12 games.

Big question for game 5: Is the mayor of Tampa to blame?

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will either come across as a genius or as the man who angered the hockey gods and ruined the Lightning’s chances. On Sunday, she said we’d like to see the Lightning settle down a bit, let the Canadiens breathe a bit, let them win a game at home and then bring them back to Amalie Arena to play in the finals and win the Stanley Cup.

Well, they let them win a game at home. If the Lightning don’t finish the game in the fifth, it will be a legendary disaster.

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