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Stanley Cup final: Lightning-Canadiens Game 3 live updates

Tampa Bay scores two goals in each period to move to within one win of its second straight Cup.
Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) celebrates  with teammate Mathieu Joseph (7) against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during second period action in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals Friday, July 2, 2021 in Montreal. (Christinne Muschi/Tampa Bay Times)
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Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) celebrates with teammate Mathieu Joseph (7) against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during second period action in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals Friday, July 2, 2021 in Montreal. (Christinne Muschi/Tampa Bay Times) [ CHRISTINNE MUSCHI | Special to the Times ]
Published Jul. 2
Updated Jul. 3

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The Lightning scored two goals in each period of a 6-3 victory over the Canadiens in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final Friday at Bell Centre in Montreal to move to within one win of repeating as Cup champions.

Tyler Johnson scored two goals and Jan Rutta, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Blake Coleman had one apiece as Tampa Bay stormed to a commanding three-games-to-none lead in the series. They will have the first of four chances to clinch Monday in Montreal.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves on 35 shots to outplay Carey Price (24-29) for a third consecutive game.

Rutta and Hedman scored in the opening minutes of the game, giving Tampa Bay a quick 2-0 lead. Phillip Danault got one back for Montreal later in the period, but Kucherov and Johnson opened the second period with two quick goals, extending the Lightning lead to 4-1.

Nick Suzuki scored on an end-to-end rush with less than two minutes left in the second period to trim the Canadiens’ deficit to 4-2.

The Lightning’s Johnson and Canadiens’ Corey Perry exchanged goals in the final four-plus minutes of the game, and Blake Coleman added an empty-netter for Tampa Bay.

Here’s how it happened:

Third period

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is scored on as Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) and Lightning defenseman David Savard (58) drive to the net during the first period.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is scored on as Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) and Lightning defenseman David Savard (58) drive to the net during the first period. [ CHRISTINNE MUSCHI | Special to the Times ]

Anthony Cirelli fans on shot from the right circle off the rush after a beautiful backhand cross-ice pass from Stamkos

Pat Maroon hits the post after a pass into the slot from Johnson

Gustafsson shot from the left point blocked by Coleman

Weber shot turned aside by Vasilevskiy

Armia shot from the slot doesn’t get through

Merrill lays out to block shot from the right circle

Vasilevskiy makes a glove save on Gustafsson shot from the center point with two Canadiens blocking his view in front of the net

Vasilevskiy with a left pad save on Weber shot from the right side

Vasilevskiy stops Staal attempt from below the left circle

Sergachev shot from the left point swallowed up by Price

Perry has a chance in front but can’t get the puck past Vasilevskiy

Danault misses the net from the left circle off the rush

Palat picks off a pass in the defensive zone and clears the puck out of the zone

LIGHTNING GOAL! Tyler Johnson scores backhanded on a rebound of his own shot after a turnover just outside the Montreal blue line. Lightning 5, Canadiens 2

Canadiens pull Price for an extra attacker

CANADIENS GOAL: Perry scores on a bad-angle shot past McDonagh and over Vasilevskiy’s shoulder. Lightning 5, Canadiens 3

Vasilevskiy makes a save on Chiarot from below the right circle off the rush

LIGHTNING GOAL! Blake Coleman scores into an empty net. Lightning 6, Canadiens 3

Second period

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a save as teammate Erik Cernak (81) and Montreal Canadiens center Phillip Danault (24) battle for a rebound during the first period.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a save as teammate Erik Cernak (81) and Montreal Canadiens center Phillip Danault (24) battle for a rebound during the first period. [ CHRISTINNE MUSCHI | Special to the Times ]

LIGHTNING GOAL! Nikita Kucherov scores backhanded off a pass through the crease from Ondrej Palat. Erik Cernak sprung Palat with a stretch pass as the Canadiens were in the midst of a line change. LIGHTNING 3, CANADIENS 1.

LIGHTNING GOAL! Tyler Johnson from low in the slot on a rebound of a Mathieu Joseph shot. LIGHTNING 4, CANADIENS 1.

Erik Cernak shoots off the right post

Price moves right to left to rob Kucherov, who thought he scored from the side of the net on a wraparound

Hedman knocks Perry to the ice in the Lightning zone

Hedman makes a kick save on a Shea Weber shot

Hedman shot sticked aside by Price

Hedman stick gets caught between the boot and blade of Perry’s skate

Vasilevskiy saves Jeff Petry wrist shot

CANADIENS GOAL: Nick Suzuki goes end-to-end to score from the right circle, beating Vasilevskiy under the pad. Lightning 4, Canadiens 2.

(Lightning lead 4-2 after two periods)

First period

Fans cheer inside Bell Centre prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final Friday in Montreal.
Fans cheer inside Bell Centre prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final Friday in Montreal. [ Christinne Muschi | Special to the Times ]

Mikhail Sergachev shot from the left circle blocked out of play by Corey Perry

Jan Rutta shot from the right point absorbed by Carey Price

Andrei Vasilevskiy makes a pad save on Jon Merrill from the left faceoff dot with Barclay Goodrow providing back pressure

Rutta shot from the right point misses the net

LIGHTNING GOAL! Rutta scores from the right point through a screen at 1:52. Lightning 1, Canadiens 0.

Eric Staal penalized for delay of game after shooting the puck over the glass

LIGHTNING GOAL! Victor Hedman scores from the center point on the power play. Lightning 2, Canadiens 0.

Blake Coleman goes hard into the boards after missing a check on Joel Edmundson

Lightning nearly score again as Price stops Erik Cernak shot from the slot, then has to reach back to clear the puck after it deflects off Steven Stamkos toward the net

Rutta shot saved from the right point saved by Price, and Nikita Kucherov misses the net on a rebound attempt from the slot

Artturi Lehkonen misses the net from the left circle

Cole Caufield hits the right post from the high slot

Corey Perry tries to put a puck on net from the left side by it’s blocked by Hedman

Vasilevskiy stops Joel Armia shot from low in the right circle

Ryan McDonagh ties up Josh Anderson, preventing a potential breakaway

Price stops David Savard shot from the right circle

CANADIENS GOAL: Phillip Danault scores his first goal of the playoffs off the post from the left circle with Brendan Gallagher driving hard to the net. Lightning 2, Canadiens 1.

Steven Stamkos shot covered by Price

Nick Suzuki bad-angle shot stopped by Vasilevskiy

Anderson shot blocked by Mikhail Sergachev

Tyler Johnson shot from the right circle hits Price in the mask

Gallagher shot from high in the right circle kicked aside by Vasilevskiy

Sergachev penalized for interference against Lehkonen as he went to the net

Toffoli shot misses the net

Vasilevskiy makes a glove save on Gustaffson shot from the right point with Perry setting a screen in front

Vasilevskiy makes a blocker save on Anderson shot from the top of the right circle

LIghtning kill the penalty

(Lightning lead 2-1 after one period)

Pregame scouting report

A Canadiens fan flies his team's flag outside Bell Centre before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final in Montreal.
A Canadiens fan flies his team's flag outside Bell Centre before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final in Montreal. [ Christinne Muschi | Special to the Times ]

Can you taste it yet? Surely, the Lightning can.

It was obvious from the way they closed out their 3-1 win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday at Amalie Arena: staying aggressive, defending as a five-man unit, making responsible decisions with the puck and counterattacking when the opportunities presented themselves.

Give it a third-period lead, and no team closes out a playoff game better than Tampa Bay.

Related: As Stanley Cup final moves to Montreal, NBC Sports’ production team stays in Tampa

It’s as if the players know that with each minute that ticks off the clock, they are one step closer to repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

Now, after beating the Canadiens by a combined score of 8-2 in the first two games of the Cup final, the Lightning are within two victories of doing just that.

Related: Forget the awards, history will judge Andrei Vasilevskiy

Win tonight and Monday in Montreal, and the Bolts will become just the third team besides the Canadiens to hoist the Cup in Montreal, joining the New York Rangers (1928) and Calgary Flames (1989), who won at the Forum. Lose either game, and the series will move back to Tampa for Game 5 on Wednesday.

The Lightning will have to do it without injured top-six forward Alex Killorn, who is out for a second consecutive game. As in Game 2, center Tyler Johnson is expected to move up to the second line to play left wing alongside center Anthony Cirelli and right wing Steven Stamkos, with Mathieu Joseph slotting in for Johnson on the fourth line.

Related: How Yanni Gourde became player Lightning look to for a boost

Meanwhile, the Canadiens will welcome back interim coach Dominique Ducharme, who had been in isolation for the past 14 days after testing positive for the coronavirus. Ducharme had participated in meetings virtually while assistant Luke Richardson filled in behind the bench.

There will be considerably fewer fans at the games in Montreal than the 17,166 that attended Game 2 in Tampa, as Quebec’s Public Health Department will not allow more than 3,500 inside Bell Centre. Still, it’s a marked improvement over last season’s final, when no fans were allowed inside Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Related: Lightning’s Stanley Cup journey runs right through ice hockey’s homeland

Follow our live updates, starting at 8 p.m., as the Lightning hope to move to within one win of planning another celebratory boat parade down the Hillsborough River.

We’re almost there.

Related: Thanks in part to Lightning, hockey experiencing a huge warming trend

Gameday scene

Canadiens fans cheer for their team before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final outside Bell Centre in Montreal.
Canadiens fans cheer for their team before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final outside Bell Centre in Montreal. [ Christinne Muschi | Special to the Times ]

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