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Canadiens extend series with Lightning again

by Sean Farrell /

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens were fed up with their shots ringing off goalposts when PA Parenteau fired a one-timer off the crossbar that struck just the right note and kept their Stanley Cup hopes alive.

Parenteau scored with 4:07 remaining in the third period on a shot that went in off the crossbar to give Montreal a 2-1, Game 5 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bell Centre on Saturday, extending the Eastern Conference Second Round series a second time.

"We finally got one that hit the post and went in," Montreal goalie Carey Price said. "Again [Saturday], we hit a lot of posts. We feel like we're generating chances and we feel like we've just got to keep grinding it out."

Parenteau beat Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop from the top of the slot on a pass from defenseman P.K. Subban.

"It was just instinct. I tried to get open," Parenteau said. "I tried to surprise him with a quick shot and I did that; I don't think he saw it."

Right wing Devante Smith-Pelly scored his first goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs 9:01 into the first period for Montreal, which hit the post three times while going 0-for-2 on the power play in the second period.

"I was getting sick of hearing, 'Ding, ding, ding,'" Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "But our power play, in our eyes, was very good. It gave us momentum. We could have scored, we could have hurt them, but we need to keep going in the same direction."

Montreal trails the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday. It is the first time the Canadiens won Game 5 in a series they trailed 3-0.

"It doesn't surprise me with the group of guys we have," Parenteau said. "We were relentless all year, we never gave up in games, and it's not any different right now. We're a solid group of guys, we're a good hockey team, we know what we can accomplish when we play well and we're just hoping we're going to get some bounces now."

Montreal led the Ottawa Senators 3-0 in the Eastern Conference First Round and lost Games 4 and 5 before winning that series in six games.

"We were up 3-0 and they found a way," said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who tied it at 1-1 with his second goal of the playoffs at 9:27 of the third period. "These guys did the same thing in round one. They were up 3-0, Ottawa won two games, they took care of business in Game 6. Hopefully we can do the same."

Therrien said hockey is a game of momentum and it is up to the Canadiens to maintain it. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was asked if the Lightning are facing more pressure to win.

"I don't know," Cooper said. "Did you ask that question to coach Therrien after they lost the second game to Ottawa? Whatever his answer was, I'll use that."

Stamkos said pressure is a matter of perspective.

"It depends which way you look at it," he said. "There's pressure for them knowing it could be their last game of the year. The fourth one is the toughest one to win. Everyone in sports in a seven-game series knows that. I'd say it's pretty even. We're going into our home rink where we've done very well. We have to go prove the last home game we played (a 6-2 loss in Game 4) was unacceptable. I believe we'll do that."

Smith-Pelly scored on a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Play continued briefly even though referee Steve Kozari immediately signaled a goal, and a video review confirmed his on-ice ruling that the puck struck the bar inside the top of the net.

Bishop, who was pulled in Game 4 after allowing three goals on 14 shots, made 27 saves.

"The three goals scored [Saturday], I don't think the goalies have a chance on all three of them," Cooper said. "That's pretty much how it's going to go to beat these guys."

Subban struck the crossbar during a brief 4-on-3 advantage after Tampa Bay's Nikita Nesterov was called for interference with each team short a skater. Parenteau, who came out of the penalty box at the same time as Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, hit the post later in the same power play.

Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry hit the left post on another power play, and Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman cleared the loose puck behind Bishop to deny Alex Galchenyuk's scoring chance.

"We were moving the puck well on the power play [Saturday], which I'm pretty glad we did that," Parenteau said. "I did hit the post and we had a couple more chances after that, but we didn't get discouraged. We kept playing hard and we got rewarded at the end."

Price, who is a finalist for the Hart and Vezina trophies, made 24 saves. He got his left glove on Lightning forward Valterri Filppula's wrist shot from the right side at 7:21 of the third period.

"I just found a way to get a piece of it," Price said.

Price had his right pad in position to make the save on Tampa Bay left wing Brenden Morrow's shot in the second.

"That's why he's the best player in the League, you know, and we're glad to have the best player in the League with our team," Therrien said. "He makes those big saves at the right time of the game and you could feel the energy on the bench. Carey Price was outstanding [Saturday]."

The 2014 Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are among the four teams in NHL history to come back from 3-0 down to win a best-of-7 series. Los Angeles did so in the first round against the San Jose Sharks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings were the first team to accomplish the feat, which was achieved by the New York Islanders against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the quarterfinals in 1975, and the Philadelphia Flyers against the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

"We're going to do everything that we can to force Game 7 in Montreal, that's for sure," Therrien said.

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