Ranking the Top 5 Montreal Canadiens Goals in 2014 NHL Playoffs So Far
But before Round 2 begins, we take one more look back at Round 1 against Tampa Bay.
The Canadiens swept away the Lightning in four games, scoring 16 goals in the process. Some of those were beautiful and worth a second look.
Here are the top five Montreal Canadiens goals in the 2014 NHL playoffs so far.
5. Tomas Plekanec Goes Top Corner
The timing of this goal was just as nice as the goal itself.
The Lightning had just scored the first goal of the series and the home crowd was fired up. Momentum seemed to be in Tampa Bay's favor.
Tomas Plekanec had other ideas and quieted the building just 19 seconds later.
He picked up a touch pass from Brendan Gallagher in the neutral zone at full speed and cut across the ice at the Tampa blue line. He then faked a slap shot and deked left, fooling Radko Gudas and causing him to fall down in the process.
With the Lightning defender now on the ground, Plekanec stepped to the left and let go a precise snap shot to the top corner, over Anders Lindback's glove.
4. Desharnais Tip in
Montreal is on the power play, early in the second period of Game 2. David Desharnais wins the faceoff with a little help from Max Pacioretty, who slides it back to P.K. Subban.
Desharnais then goes directly to the side of the net, while Subban fakes once, waits for a shooting lane and then sends a slap pass to a waiting Desharnais, who tips it in.
This type of play is often seen in hockey, but it's the degree of difficulty behind this particular goal that makes it all the more impressive.
Desharnais is a left-hand shot, meaning the usual play from this angle would be a backhand tip. Instead, Desharnais uses his forehand by opening his shoulders to Subban and using the front of his blade to get the puck over Lindback's shoulder.
A very difficult play for a left-hand shot, and it makes for a beautiful goal.
3. Vanek Finishes the 2-on-1
Good defense often leads to scoring chances, and this play is a great example.
Alexei Emelin is able to deflect the Lightning centering attempt, and the puck is picked up by a back-checking Thomas Vanek. The Canadiens forward then wheels and creates a 2-on-2 with David Desharnais.
Vanek then makes a perfect pass across the neutral zone, hitting Desharnais in stride. Desharnais then keeps the puck wide before feathering a pass to the front of the net, where Vanek gets his stick on it and beats Lindback for the goal.
Notice the play by Vanek going to the net. He puts a nice inside-out move on Eric Brewer to free himself and turn the 2-on-2 into a 2-on-1. A smart play by a veteran who knows how to score.
2. Rene Bourque Splits the Defense
Rene Bourque was solid in Game 1, but this beauty in Game 2 showed Montreal fans that he came to play in the 2014 NHL playoffs.
P.K. Subban starts the play by flipping the puck out while taking a hit in the defensive zone. Thomas Vanek is able to settle the bouncing puck and passes to Bourque, who is moving at full speed at center ice.
Bourque notices some separation between the two Tampa Bay defenders and hits the gap with a little deke to his backhand. The move works as he then finds himself alone on Anders Lindback.
The Lightning goalie attempts to poke check Bourque, who gets control of the puck and slides it into the bottom-right corner of the goal. It was Bourque's first of two Game 2 goals.
1. Subban Amazes, Gallagher Finishes
P.K. Subban loves to play four-on-four hockey, and he shows why with this beauty.
The clip starts with Lars Eller sending the puck around the boards and onto the stick of Subban. The flashy defender then pulls the puck to the middle of the ice, fakes a shot, then spins to put a move on Ondrej Palat.
Subban then goes forehand and backhand while heading around the net, losing Palat in the process. Once he reaches the faceoff dot, Subban puts on the brakes and slides a pretty pass across the ice, right on Brendan Gallagher's tape.
Gallagher touches it once, sees the top of the net is open and roofs it with a snap shot.
This is Montreal's top goal of the playoffs, and it is also one of the best individual efforts of the entire 2014 NHL playoffs.
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