(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to maintain their perfect record against the Montreal Canadiens in 2014-15 when they host Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday.
The Lightning were swept by the Canadiens in the opening round of the 2014 postseason, but Tampa has won seven straight over the Habs since that four- game playoff defeat.
If the Bolts can continue their hot streak against Montreal with another win in Game 3 they will get a chance to eliminate the Canadiens tomorrow night when the clubs meet again at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
After taking all five games during the regular-season series and outscoring Montreal by a 21-8 margin in the process, the Bolts have jumped out to a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series by winning Games 1 and 2 on the road. Tampa edged the Canadiens 2-1 in double overtime to kick off the series before slamming the Habs by a 6-2 count in Sunday's Game 2.
Tampa Bay used an offensive outburst to end a pair of slumps and cruise past Montreal in the second encounter of this series. Steven Stamkos finally scored his first goal of the postseason and the Lightning struck with four power-play goals in the blowout.
Tampa Bay's man advantage was a meager 0-for-25 before Valtteri Filppula, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman all tallied power-play goals. The Lightning's four power-play goals tied a franchise playoff record set on April 23, 2011 in an 8-2 win over Pittsburgh.
"Our power play was hot," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. "You can't predict when it is."
Kucherov, who scored the double-OT winner in Game 1, finished with two goals on Sunday. The 21-year-old Russian has six points (3G, 3A) in his last four contests.
Filppula and Stamkos each provided a goal and two assists, J.T. Brown also scored and Ben Bishop made 27 saves in the victory.
Stamkos, who was second in the NHL with 43 goals during the regular season, halted an 11-game goal-scoring drought in the playoffs when he broke a 1-1 tie by tallying 8:06 into the second period. Prior to Sunday, Tampa's captain hadn't scored a postseason marker since hitting the net twice in Game 1 of last spring's playoff series against Montreal.
"It's not like Stamkos got the 6-2 goal. It's a 1-1 game and a battle. He gets you the 2-1 goal," Cooper said. "That's what you need from your guy. You need the big goal and he got it for us."
Jeff Petry and Tom Gilbert each lit the lamp for the Canadiens, while Carey Price allowed all six goals on 24 shots. Price, a finalist for the Hart and Vezina Trophies, last allowed six goals in a playoff game in a 6-1 loss to Ottawa on May 5, 2013.
"We had opportunities to change the game early and go up by a couple goals, but it didn't happen for us," Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban said. "It's just tough. This is the postseason. You can't give teams that many opportunities on the power play."
Speaking about Montreal's lack of discipline, head coach Michel Therrien said it "cost us the game and it's unacceptable."
Montreal forward Brandon Prust finished the game with 31 penalty minutes, including a game misconduct. After tripping Bishop behind the Tampa goal, Prust fought Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn and engaged referee Brad Watson in a war of words. The verbal altercation resulted in Prust being ejected from the game.
"That's the ref he is," Prust said of Watson after the game. "He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight."
Prust's post-game comments earned him a $5,000 fine from the league. The player did apologize for his words after Tuesday's practice.
Canadiens forward David Desharnais missed Game 2 due to the flu, but he could be back in the lineup tonight.
Tampa Bay forward Cedric Paquette is questionable for Game 3 after leaving Sunday's tilt with an undisclosed injury.
This is the third playoff meeting between these clubs. The Lightning swept the Canadiens in the 2004 conference semifinals, while the Canadiens returned the favor in the opening round last spring