The Tampa Bay Lightning would like nothing more than to carry their regular-season domination of the Montreal Canadiens through the Eastern Conference Second Round.
The Lightning went 5-0-0 against the Canadiens this season, outscoring them 21-8. That included victories in three games at Bell Centre, where the Lightning have won their past five regular-season visits.
But the perfect regular-season record in 2014-15 didn't do much to ease the Lightning's disappointment from last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, when Montreal swept Tampa Bay in the first round, averaging four goals per game. All four wins came with Tampa Bay starting goaltender Ben Bishop sidelined because of injury.
Bishop was in goal for each of the five wins against Montreal this season and outplayed Hart Trophy finalist Carey Price, who lost all five. The inability to beat Tampa Bay was one of the few blemishes in a brilliant season for Price, who was the major reason Montreal allowed fewer non-shootout goals than any NHL team.
While the Canadiens were winning 50 games by preventing opponents from scoring, the Lightning won 50 by leading the League with 259 non-shootout goals. Each team lost 32 times, but the Canadiens had two fewer regulation defeats, enabling them to finish with 110 points to the Lightning's 108 and earn the home-ice advantage in this series.