Apr 1, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec (14), center Alex Galchenyuk (27) and right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) celebrate a goal while Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) looks up at the crowd at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Conference Playoff Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning Vs Montreal Canadiens

The Series Schedule:

  1. Game 1 and 2 will be played in Tampa Bay.\ Game 1 is on Wednesday April 16th at 7:00pm ET on CNBC.
  2. Game 2 is on Friday April 18th at 7:00pm ET on CNBC.
  3. Game 3 and Game 4 will be played in Montreal. Game 3 is on Sunday April 20th at 7:00pm ET on NBCSN.
  4. Game 4 is on Tuesday April 22nd at 7:00pm ET on NHL Network.
  5. Game 5 if necessary is on Thursday April 24th at 7:00pm ET on CNBC.
  6. Game 6 if necessary will be in Montreal on Sunday April 27th.
  7. Game 7 if necessary will be in Tampa Bay on Tuesday April 29th.

Tampa Bay

Tampa wasn’t suppose to be here right? They lost two of their all-time great players in less than a calendar year and had Steven Stamkos out with an injury that forced him to miss a bunch of games and the Olympics but here they are with home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.  The Lightning are a quick young team and with the trade deadline deal of Martin St. Louis to the NY Rangers for Ryan Callahan added toughness to a team that need a bit of a nasty streak.  The key to this team is Stamkos, he’s what they call Special and he know how to score from anywhere and anytime. The downfall of the Lightning could fall on the health of their goalie Ben Bishop. If Bishop can’t go the Bolts could be in trouble with Anders Lindback in net

Leading Scorer- Ondrej Palat- 23 Goals 36 Assists

Backstop- Ben Bishop- 37-14-7 .924 Goals Against Average

Former Hawk Factor- Michael Kostka

 

Montreal

The Canadiens came up just short against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the regular season with three games heading to extra time so ironically it was a shootout win on the final day of the season that gave the Lightning the home ice advantage over  Montreal.  No pressure on Montreal by the way as they are the only Canadian team to make the playoff this season so the eyes of an entire country is on them.  The Canadiens are a good skating team so look for a track meet in this series and their offense opened up on their trade deadline steal of Thomas Vanek.  Vanek opened up the  offense.  The X-factor could be Olympic Gold Medalist Carey Price, and Price is the reason that Montreal is a Stanley Cup dark horse team.

Leading Scorer- Max Pacioretty 39 goals 21 assists

Backstop- Carey Price- 34-20-5 .927 GAA

Former Hawk Factor- Rene Bourque

Prediction Sure To Go Wrong- Price leads the Canadiens to the 2nd round in 6 games

What is your prediction for the series?

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