NHL Canadian Corner – April 19, 2014

Canadiens down the Lightning to take 2-0 series lead, plus the latest on the Flames, Oilers and Senators.

Canadiens winger Rene Bourque celebrates the first of his two goals against the Lightning in Game Two.

Canadiens winger Rene Bourque celebrates the first of his two goals against the Lightning in Game Two.

MONTREAL GAZETTE/TAMPA TRIBUNE:  Rene Bourque scored twice and Carey Price made 26 saves as the Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1, taking a 2-0 series lead back to Montreal for Games Three and Four. Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly noted the Lightning have overcome adversity throughout this season, but this deficit against the Canadiens  could be a bridge too far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Lightning starter Ben Bishop, currently sidelined with an upper-body injury, were able to play perhaps things might be different. The Bolts also have ten rookies in their lineup. They had a good start to Game Two but the wheels quickly fell off after that. They’ll need a more consistent effort and better goaltending from Anders Lindback if they’re to rally back. That’s not to detract from the Canadiens effort, especially in Game Two. They’ve taken advantage of the inexperience Lightning rookies to cash in on the score sheet. 

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis lists Sean Monahan, Mark Giordano and Mikael Backlund among his ten Flames who improved this season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples examines if the Oilers really did improve as the season went along.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Sean Gordon reports Senators fans are getting tired of their team’s budget message.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: During the early years under the salary cap the Senators were willing and able to keep pace with the rising cap ceiling. That hasn’t been the case over the past three seasons. It’s a trend Senators fans should get used to.