Is Wednesday night’s game a must-win for the Canadiens?
Some would say no, but considering how dominant the Lightning were in Game 1 (a lopsided 5-1 win on the scoresheet and the ice), the Canadiens cannot afford to head back to Montreal down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final.
“Same thing we’ve said all along, don’t really care,” forward Brendan Gallagher said when asked about his team being counted out. “We know what we are as a hockey team and we believe in each other. We believe when we play the way we need to play, we play our game, we dictate the style of hockey it is, we can compete with anyone. I think we’ve shown that here through three rounds. Game 1, we got away from that . . . made the game a little bit too easy [for] them.
“Tonight is just getting back to our game and making sure that we’re controlling the style of the game that we’re playing here.”
Gallagher, by the way, showed off his battered face, the result of him falling face first while tussling with Mikhail Sergachev in Game 1. He was checked for a concussion and is OK for the game. Montreal will once again be without head coach Dominique Ducharme, however, because of COVID-19 protocols.
While Ducharme continues to be missed behind the Canadiens’ bench, the Lightning will be without a key player on their bench in Alex Killorn. The winger blocked a Jeff Petry shot in the second period of Game 1 and, after skating one shift in the third, did not play the rest of the game. He’s tied for second on the team with eight goals in the playoffs, so his injury creates a big hole in the lineup.
“Killer is a big part of our team,” said forward Tyler Johnson. “He eats up a lot of minutes and plays in every situation. It’s going to be everyone having to step up in different roles. That’s the great thing about our team, we have that depth. It’s going to take everybody.”
Stock Market Pioneer has all the action as the Lightning and Canadiens battle in the Stanley Cup Final (all times Eastern).
Canadiens vs. Lightning score, highlights from Game 2
8:03 p.m. — Mathieu Joseph takes Alex Killorn’s roster spot and is skating on the fourth line with Pat Maroon and Ross Colton. Joel Armia is back in the lineup for Montreal.
Some thought Habs should change lines.
Nope. Luke Richardson said execution, not personnel, was problem.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) June 30, 2021
8 p.m. — Lightning have some fans in the building.
7:51 p.m. — Tennis star Félix Auger-Aliassime, a native of Montreal, spoke about his hometown team.