Coaching could tip Habs-Lightning in Tampa's favour

Montreal Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque (17) controls the puck while defended by Tampa Bay...

Montreal Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque (17) controls the puck while defended by Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) at Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this season. (Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:32 PM ET

The Early Word: The Lightning took the season series in which the Habs scored only one goal in each of the games (the Canadiens’ lone win came in a 2-1 shootout victory). This could come down to the Habs being disciplined and being able to control Tampa’s Steven Stamkos and the Bolts’ power play (the Canadiens have the fifth-ranked penalty kill this season). Tampa scored 16 power-play goals in their final 17 games. There are questions about the health of Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, Tampa’s most valuable player, and even if he’s available for Game 1 you have to wonder if he’s going to be at the top of his game. The Canadiens got their even-strength scoring going down the stretch and goaltender Carey Price looks like the pivotal figure in this series.

 


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