Canadiens win Game 4 in overtime, stay alive in Stanley Cup Final

Josh Anderson scored his second goal of the game 3:57 into overtime, and the Canadiens avoided elimination by defeating the defending champion Lightning 3-2.

SHARE Canadiens win Game 4 in overtime, stay alive in Stanley Cup Final
The Canadiens’ Josh Anderson (lying on the ice) celebrates his game-winning goal in overtime Monday against the Lightning in Montreal.

The Canadiens’ Josh Anderson (lying on the ice) celebrates his game-winning goal in overtime Monday against the Lightning in Montreal.

Mark Blinch/Getty Images

MONTREAL — Josh Anderson delivered in overtime, and Montreal killed Tampa Bay’s chance for a Stanley Cup sweep.

Anderson said the Canadiens weren’t done, and he was right — at least for one night.

The speedy winger scored his second goal 3:57 into overtime, and the Canadiens avoided elimination by defeating the defending champion Lightning 3-2 in Game 4 on Monday.

“We didn’t want to end it tonight in front of our fans. We expected to go to Tampa tomorrow,” Anderson said. “I think everybody in that locker room did, you know, packed our bags this afternoon.”

The series shifts to Tampa Bay for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Carey Price stopped 32 shots for Montreal, and rookie defenseman Alexander Romanov also scored. The Canadiens also went 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, including a four-minute high-sticking penalty issued to captain Shea Weber with 1:01 remaining in regulation.

“Webby is our leader,” forward Brendan Gallagher said. “I think we would have killed it for anyone, but he’s been a rock for us since he’s come to our team.”

Pat Maroon and Barclay Goodrow scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 18 shots.

The Lightning are attempting to become the NHL’s second team to win consecutive championships in the salary-cap era, which began in 2005. The Pittsburgh Penguins accomplished the feat with titles in 2016 and 2017.

Tampa Bay, which won the Cup last year by defeating Dallas in six games, is one resilient bunch, too. It is 13-0 over the past two playoffs when coming off a loss.

“Sometimes you play pretty good and it’s a break here, a break there that just doesn’t go your way. You just go to keep working through it,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “No hanging our heads but I liked a lot of things we did tonight.”

Montreal became the first team to score in OT to avoid a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final since the Bruins did it in 1946 against the Canadiens, according to STATS.

The Canadiens also avoided becoming the first team to get swept in the final round since Detroit won four straight over Washington to win the championship in 1998.

They drew some inspiration from Anderson, who provided his teammates with a rallying cry a day earlier when he said: “We’re not finished yet.”

“We understood the hole that we were in, but we just kind of talked about it: Find a way to win one game here,” Gallagher said. “(Anderson) stepped up and scored a couple of big goals for us. It’s going to be the same thing next game.”

Interim coach Dominique Ducharme’s lineup changes paid off, with Romanov stepping up in just his third career playoff game. Anderson was shifted to a new line, playing alongside Nick Suzuki and rookie Cole Caufield in Ducharme’s bid to add more speed.

Anderson got his second career playoff overtime goal after he forced a turnover at the blue line and outraced Jan Rutta and Yanni Gourde to a loose puck along the left boards. He then directed the puck toward the net, where Caufield got a piece of it but pushed it wide.

Anderson jumped back in front and knocked the puck past Vasilevskiy inside the left post. His follow-through put him on the ice, where he celebrated the goal while on his back.

Montreal was outscored 14-5 in the first three games, including a sloppy 6-3 loss in Game 3 on Friday.

They got off to a better start Monday, thanks to Price stopping 12 shots in the opening period and Anderson converting Suzuki’s centering pass at 15:39 for Montreal’s first lead of the series.

Though Tampa Bay rallied twice to tie, the Canadiens never relinquished the lead.

The Lightning are 0-4 in OT this postseason, and 0-5 when giving up the first goal.

“We have confidence in the power play. We had some good looks throughout the game, but at the end of the day you want to bear down and score one there, but it didn’t happen,” said Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who had a shot from the slot get a piece of Price’s blocker and go off the left post during a power-play chance late in the second period. “That was a close game overall.”

Montreal is accustomed to overcoming adversity. The Canadiens entered the playoffs with the worst record among the 16 qualifiers before rallying from a 3-1 series deficit against Toronto. Montreal then swept Winnipeg in the second round and eliminated Vegas in six games in the semifinals to advance to its first final appearance in 28 years.

The Canadiens improved to 8-1 when facing elimination on home ice in the final.

The Lightning still get a chance to clinch the title on home ice and celebrate with their fans and — more importantly — family. It was something Tampa Bay was unable to do in the restricted-access bubble in Edmonton, Alberta, in September, when it defeated Dallas in six games or the title.

On Saturday, Canadian health officials denied the NHL an exemption to allow Lightning players’ immediate family members to travel to Montreal.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor may have got her wish in suggesting, a day earlier, that perhaps the Lightning “take it a little bit easy” in order to win back home.

Montreal still faces a daunting climb.

In NHL playoff history, only four teams have rallied to win a series after losing the the first three games, with Toronto the only one to do so in the final in beating Detroit to win the Cup in 1942. The Los Angeles Kings were the last team to overcome a 3-0 series deficit by beating San Jose in a 2014 first-round series.

The Latest
On the final day to file, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García and three others all officially entered the mayoral race on Monday, joining six from last week. And now Chicago’s cutthroat game of petition challenges begins.
Markkanen was once considered the foundation piece for the Bulls, so what went wrong? Timing, bad coaching, poor development, maturity ... pick one. Either way, the 7-footer is finally doing “unicorn” things, even in Monday’s loss to the Bulls.
The man, 20, was standing on the sidewalk about 7 p.m. in the 700 block of East 79th Street when someone opened fire, Chicago police said.
The revised database, dubbed the Criminal Enterprise Information System, was developed after the original database was found to be a disorganized mess of often unverified and outdated information.