The Lightning won the Cup for the second time in their history on September 28, 2020, defeating the Dallas Stars 2-0 in Game 6 of the Finals.
“It’s been a race,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
Tampa Bay may become the first team to sweep their opponents in the Cup final since the Detroit Red Wings did against the Washington Capitals in 1998.
The Lightning are the first team to win the first three games of the Cup Final since the Los Angeles Kings against the New York Rangers in 2014. The Kings lost Game 4 but won Game 5 to win the Cup. Stanley.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to go out there and grab it, but it’s going to be tough,” said the Lightning defenseman. David Savard mentionned. “We know the team on the other side doesn’t want to fall without a fight. “
The Canadiens will look to become the fifth NHL team to return after losing the first three games of a best-of-7 series and the second to do so in the Cup Final (1942 Toronto Maple Leafs). They are the 200th team to lead 3-0, including the 28th in the Cup final.
Tampa Bay dominated Montreal 14-5 and didn’t lag in the series. The Lightning had a one-goal lead after the first period of Games 1 and 3.
“There’s a lot of energy,” said the Canadiens forward. Paul Byron mentionned. “Everyone on the team knows we can play better. It’s a big challenge for the team, but everyone has to play to their potential tonight. I like the energy. I like the atmosphere in the team. We’ll see tonight. “
Here are 3 keys for game 4:
1. The price must be correct
Canadiens goalie Prix Carey was played poorly in the series by his counterpart Lightning, Andreï Vasilevskiy.
Price has a 4.39 goals-against average and 0.835 save percentage, allowing 13 goals on 79 shots. Vasilevskiy has an average of 1.67 and a save percentage of .948, allowing five goals on 97 shots.
The Canadiens are unlikely to extend the streak if Vasilevskiy continues to outperform Price.
2. Lightning must block noise
The Lightning don’t believe he’s going to be tempted by the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup because of his experience last season.
They lost Game 5 of the Cup Final to the Stars last season with a shot at winning the series. They won it in Game 6.
“I vividly remember having the opportunity to eliminate Dallas last year and I look back now that my thoughts were all in the wrong direction,” Cooper said. “You’re thinking about lifting the Stanley Cup, what will it be like after, dreams of a lifetime, who’s going to be able to drink it. This is called channeling your energy in the wrong direction.
“When we lost that game I learned a lesson and it has to come back to your beliefs and it’s the process over the result. You can’t think of the outcome. You just have to believe in your process and no matter what. Everything will take care of itself. Going into these games now, knowing how much is on the line, I put it aside and want to channel my energy into making our team play the best game they can. ”
3. Canadians are making changes
The Canadiens will have a new look with several line and roster changes in an effort to shake things up and find new energy, especially early in the game.
The biggest change in the front is the insertion in the front Jake Evans in the center on the third row and scratching Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who has played 19 straight games since being eliminated in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs in the first round.
Evans, struck out of the last two games after playing on the fourth line of the first game, will center the third line with Artturi Lehkonen and Byron. Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said the line brings speed and energy, as it did in the second round against the Edmonton Oilers.
“They can play against the best lines,” said Ducharme. “They showed it against [Connor] McDavid in two games. “
Brett Kulak and Alexandre Romanov will line up on the defensive third pair, replacing Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson.
“We wanted to bring a little more skating to the back with these two guys,” said Ducharme. “We think it’s important against them tonight and we’ll see. “
Ondrej Palat — Pointe Brayden — Nikita Kucherov
Tyler Johnson — Antoine Cirelli — Steven Stamkos
Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon — Ross Colton — Mathieu Joseph
Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev – David Savard
Striped: Luc Schenn, Alex-Barre Boulet, Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, Gemel Smith, Mitchell Stephens, Daniel Walcott, Fredrik Claesson, Cal Foote, Ben Thomas, Christophe Gibson, Spencer Martin
Injured: Alex Killorn (not disclosed)
Projected training of Canadians
Tyler Toffoli — Philippe Danault — Brendan Gallagher
Cole Caufield — Nick Suzuki — Josh Anderson
Paul Byron – Jake Evans – Artturi Lehkonen
Joel armia — Eric Staal — Corey Perry
Ben Chiarot — Shea Weber
Joël Edmundson — Jeff Petry
Alexandre Romanov — Brett Koulak
Striped: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Cale Fleury, Jon Merrill, Lukas Vejdemo, Laurent Dauphin, Jesse Ylonen, Alex Belzile, Xavier Ouellet, Otto Leskinen, Michel Frolik, Erik Gustafsson, Tomas Tatar, Cayden Primeau, Charlie Lindgren, Michael McNiven
Killorn will be a play decision, Cooper said. He missed the last two games after suffering an undisclosed injury in Game 1 by blocking a shot. … Toffoli will step up to the first row and replace Lehkonen, who will move up to the third row. Anderson will move from the third line to the second and Caufield will move from the right wing to the left wing. The Canadiens’ fourth line will remain the same since Game 3.