The Montreal Canadiens mixed up their lineup Monday night and staved off elimination against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Trailing 3-0 in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final, Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme added three players, subtracted three and shuffled the top three lines.
The result: The Canadiens scored first for the first time in the series. Josh Anderson, who was moved in the line shuffles, scored twice, including in overtime, for a 3-2 Montreal victory in Game 4.
“We didn’t want to end it tonight in front of our fans,” Anderson said. “We expected to go to Tampa tomorrow. I think everybody in that locker room did, and we packed our bags this afternoon. We just had that feeling that we were going to win tonight.”
The Lightning, seeking back-to-back championships, fell to 0-5 this postseason when yielding the first goal and are 3-3 in potential clinching games. They will try to secure the third Stanley Cup in franchise history at home Wednesday night.
A look at Game 4:
Lineup changes pay off
The new Montreal faces in the lineup were forward Jake Evans, and defensemen Alexander Romanov and Brett Kulak. Sitting out were forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Jon Merrill.
The Canadiens needed some time to get the offense going, but one of the new-look lines scored in the first period when Nick Suzuki set up Anderson.
Usually, Tyler Toffoli would be on at that line, but he was moved to a line with Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault.
Romanov’s third-period goal, which put Montreal ahead 2-1, was on a shot from the point. He was making his third playoff appearance.
Evans, who had played only one game since leaving the second round on a stretcher, drew the assist.
Anderson scored again at 3:57 of overtime, diving to knock the puck past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
It was his second overtime goal this postseason after he beat the Vegas Golden Knights last round in Game 3.
The Canadiens are 6-1 in overtime in the playoffs.
Big penalty kill
The Canadiens had to kill off a high-sticking double minor penalty to captain Shea Weber that spanned the end of regulation and start of overtime.
“We weren’t going to lose this game on a penalty to our captain,” Ducharme said. “I was convinced that our players would kill it off. It shows the character of our group. We wanted to do everything we could to kill the penalty for our captain.”
The Lightning went 0-for-5 on the power play. Canadiens goalie Carey Price played a big role, stopped nine shots while his team was short-handed. Montreal’s penalty-killing efficiency is 91.4% in the postseason.
“They’re a good PK,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. “That’s one of the big reasons, I think, they’re here. … We’ll look at the tape once again and get better and make sure our power play gets going next game.”
Lightning rally twice
Tampa Bay had never trailed in the Stanley Cup Final until Monday.
But it rallied twice from one-goal deficits to tie the game and force overtime.
Barclay Goodrow scored in the second period off a nice feed from pinching defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
Patrick Maroon, who is trying to win a third consecutive Stanley Cup title, tied the game in the third period.
Goodrow’s goal ended a 14-game drought. Maroon’s goal was his second in 22 playoff games this season.
The Lightning hit several posts during the game.
“No hanging our heads,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I like a lot of things we did tonight.”
What awaits Montreal
The odds are still long for the Canadiens. Only four NHL teams have a won a series after losing the first three games. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team to rally in the Stanley Cup Final.
But for the moment, the Canadiens avoided having the Lightning join the 1989 Calgary Flames as the only team to celebrate the Stanley Cup on Montreal home ice.
“We got through tonight,” Gallagher said. “We really can’t afford to enjoy it too long. Move on to the next one and do the same thing. We’ve just kind of accepted the fact it’s never going to be easy.”
A moment of silence held before the game for goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks, 24, who died from chest trauma during a fireworks accident. He had played eight games over the past two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. … Injured Lightning forward Alex Killorn took part in warmups but didn’t play for the third consecutive game.