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Canadiens Take Three-Game Lead, Sharks Up 2-0 Against the Kings

On Sunday, the Montreal Canadiens extended their lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning with its 3-2 win and now have a 3-0 series advantage. Can Tampa rally from this deficit?

The Canadiens quickly got on the board, scoring 11 seconds in with a goal by Rene Borque. Brendan Gallagher scored for the team in the second period to give the team a 2-1 lead and in the third period, Tomas Plekanec’s goal gave the Canadiens a 3-1 advantage and essentially the win. P.K. Subban’s two assists were also highlights of the game.

Rene Borque

Rene Borque

Montreal outshot Tampa 31-29, who had to see one of their goals disallowed in the second period. For the night, Carey Price had 27 saves.

Subban said of the game via the Associated Press, “We’ve seen many scenarios in the playoffs and we have to have the same approach for the next game as we had for the last three. They’re a good team. They had a lot of opportunities to score. They fought their way back into the game. They put pucks on the net and came hard to the end. We know they’ll fight until the final buzzer, so we have to be ready next game.”

As for Tampa,  Ondrej Palat and Matthew Carle scored its two goals with assists by Steven Stamkos for both. Anders Lindback had 28 saves while the team and its fans held their breaths as Stamkos went down during the second period with an upper-body injury. He shook it off and returned to the game’s final period.

Game 4 will take place in Montreal on Tuesday night for this best-of-seven series. With another win, the Canadiens will get the sweep and also an opportunity to get even with the Lightning from their 2004 playoff matchup where they were swept by the team. Tampa eventually won that year’s Stanley Cup.

Looking ahead to 2014’s Cup, Montreal sits at 20/1 to win it while Tampa Bay is 25/1.

In other Sunday action, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 7-2, and now have a 2-0 advantage.

The Sharks found themselves down 2-0 in the first period but came surging back to score seven unanswered goals, beginning with first one in the second period by Mike Brown–his first career playoff goal. Raffi Torres followed while Andrew Desjardins assisted on both of them. The play of these three were key to the game.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Brown said of it via NHL.com, “Every time we step on the ice that’s our role is to kind of get that momentum and to bring the physicality into the game. Regardless if we’re up or down, we’re still going to play the same way. All three of us know what we need to do and what kind of game we need to play. That’s what we’re doing. I say any time the fourth line contributes with goals it’s always a bonus.”

Justin Braun, Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton also contributed goals. For the night, Antti Niemi had 24 saves.

With the seven goals, it tied a franchise playoff record for a game and now through the series’ two games, the Sharks have 13 goals combined.

As for the Kings, Trevor Lewis and Jake Muzzin scored the only two goals of the night while Jonathan Quick had 33 saves.

Game 3 will take place on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The Kings will have history on their side as the home team with an 18 of 19 record against the Sharks (including nine playoff wins). They also had to overcome an 2-0 hole in 2013 against the St. Louis Blues.

Will they do it again?

For now, Vegas doesn’t have a winner for the third game but has San Jose at 9/1 to win the 2014 Stanley Cup and 10/1 odds for the Kings.

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