Josh Anderson’s OT Goal Lifts Canadiens Past Lightning in Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 6, 2021

Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson (17) skates on the ice during the second period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

The Montreal Canadiens stayed alive in their Stanley Cup Final series against the Tampa Bay Lightning by defeating the visitors 3-2 in overtime on Monday in Bell Centre.

Canadiens Montréal @CanadiensMTL

BUT GAGNANT DE JOSH ANDERSON EN PROLONGATION!!!<br><br>JOSH ANDERSON WINS IT IN OT!!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHabsGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoHabsGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/Xj0dbfDcKm">pic.twitter.com/Xj0dbfDcKm</a>

Canadiens Montréal @CanadiensMTL

🤯🤯🤯<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHabsGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoHabsGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/xVA5FC498i">pic.twitter.com/xVA5FC498i</a>

Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson scored two goals, including the game-winner at 3:57 of overtime. Montreal completed a four-minute penalty kill following a Shea Weber high-sticking penalty just 58 seconds earlier.

Tampa Bay outshot Montreal 34-21 and hit three goalposts on the night, including one from Nikita Kucherov with 2:27 remaining in the third and the score tied at two.

Tampa Bay, which defeated the Dallas Stars in last year's Stanley Cup, leads Montreal three games to one in the best-of-seven matchup following its Game 4 loss.

Notable Performances

Canadiens RW Josh Anderson: 2 G, 3 SOG

Canadiens D Alexander Romanov: 1 G

Canadiens RW Cole Caufield: 2 A

Canadiens G Carey Price: 32 SV

Lightning RW Barclay Goodrow: 1 G, 2 SOG

Lightning LW Pat Maroon: 1 G, 3 SOG


Canadiens Claw Their Way to Game 4 Win

Only four teams have overcome 3-0 series deficits in NHL playoff history, and just one (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs) has done so in the Stanley Cup Final.

It'll be a tall order for Montreal to do that even after winning Game 4, but the Canadiens' tremendous grit and perseverance—combined with Carey Price's brick-wall goaltending— kept the season alive Monday.

Anderson and Price were the heroes for the Habs as they continued their pursuit of the team's first Stanley Cup since 1993.

Anderson was in the right place at the right time to open the scoring thanks to some work from Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield:

Canadiens Montréal @CanadiensMTL

Caufield.<br>Suzuki.<br>Anderson. <br> <br>🚨<br> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHabsGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoHabsGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/OtN6KzBtos">pic.twitter.com/OtN6KzBtos</a>

With that, the Canadiens found themselves in a position they hadn't been in all series, per Eric Engels of Sportsnet:

Eric Engels @EricEngels

The Canadiens have their first lead of the Stanley Cup Final. Care of Josh Anderson. What a play by Nick Suzuki.

Lightning right wing Barclay Goodrow tied the game at one in the second period, but rookie defenseman Alexander Romanov responded in the third with his first postseason tally.

Canadiens Montréal @CanadiensMTL

PREMIER BUT EN SÉRIES POUR ROMANOV.<br><br>FIRST CAREER PLAYOFF GOAL FOR ROMANOV.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHabsGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoHabsGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/fsNddxN5nz">pic.twitter.com/fsNddxN5nz</a>

StatsCentre noted that Romanov made history along the way, despite playing in just his third career playoff game:

StatsCentre @StatsCentre

Playing just his 3rd game of these playoffs, Alexander Romanov's 2-1 tally tonight has joined him with Serge Savard (2 in 1968) &amp; Guy Lapointe (1971) as the only <a href="https://twitter.com/CanadiensMTL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CanadiensMTL</a> rookie defencemen to score a SC Final goal. At 21 years &amp; 180 days old, he's also the youngest to do so <a href="https://t.co/ZaauC0w07J">pic.twitter.com/ZaauC0w07J</a>

The Lightning had a golden opportunity to go home as back-to-back Stanley Cup winners when Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber was called for high-sticking on Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat.

Tampa Bay had four shots on goal in the overtime period with a man advantage, but Price saved all of them to preserve the tie.

It was a phenomenal effort from Price, who kept his team in the game all night despite a flurry of Lightning shots.


Carey Price (<a href="https://twitter.com/CP0031?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CP0031</a>) is on his game tonight! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a><br><br>🇺🇸: <a href="https://t.co/5iBqKP5ea2">https://t.co/5iBqKP5ea2</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NHLonNBCSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NHLonNBCSports</a><br>🇨🇦: <a href="https://t.co/pLdthhzu7f">https://t.co/pLdthhzu7f</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Sportsnet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Sportsnet</a> <a href="https://t.co/zP8o4QWDXe">pic.twitter.com/zP8o4QWDXe</a>

Pierre LeBrun of TSN credited the Canadiens for their effort with their backs against the wall:

Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun

The four-minute PK followed by a Josh Anderson OT goal. What a sequence. No way they wanted the season to end with their captain in the box. <br>The Habs give their fans a Stanley Cup final moment. <br>The Canadiens able to dip into their 2021 playoff magic at least one more time.

Less than one minute after the Price-led penalty kill kept the Lightning off the board, Anderson sent the Montreal crowd into an absolute frenzy:

Sportsnet @Sportsnet

THE REACTION OUTSIDE OF THE BELL CENTRE TO JOSH ANDERSON'S OT WINNER! 🎉🚨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItsOn?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItsOn</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/DchuSHbnBs">pic.twitter.com/DchuSHbnBs</a>

As noted by Pete Blackburn of Bally Sports, it was an incredible effort from Anderson, who never gave up on the play.

Pete Blackburn @PeteBlackburn

What an effort by Josh Anderson holy hell

With that, the Canadiens stayed alive. They may have faced a dire situation, but don't tell that to Anderson, who expected Montreal to come through and force a Game 5:

TSN @TSN_Sports

"We expected to go to Tampa tomorrow. We packed our bags this afternoon. We just had that feeling that we were going to win tonight."<br><br>Josh Anderson and the Habs were ready to go pack to Tampa. <a href="https://t.co/IQNuBUE0Kr">pic.twitter.com/IQNuBUE0Kr</a>

It'll be a long road to Game 7, but all that matters now is the Canadiens survived, advanced and moved onto Tampa.

Unlucky Lightning Fall Despite Solid Effort

The Lightning had 13 more shots than the Canadiens and hit three goalposts on a night where they were the better team than Montreal everywhere but the scoreboard.

Significant credit goes to the Canadiens for their resolve down 3-0 in the series, most specifically on the penalty kill and the game-winning goal.

But Tampa Bay left numerous opportunities at the doorstep.

For starters, the Lightning went 0-of-5 on the power play. They played 10 minutes with the extra man thanks to four minor penalties and a double minor, but were unable to pull through.

It was a surprising result for a Tampa Bay team that had converted on 33.8 percent of its power-play chances this postseason.

No chance was greater than the Weber double minor, which gave Tampa Bay 2:59 with an extra man at the start of overtime. Nothing ever came of it, though.

Ultimately, the killer was the Lightning's third goalpost of the night, which happened just prior to the Weber penalty. Kucherov put himself in excellent position for the game-winner, but his shot clanked off the post and harmlessly fluttered away.

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper talked about that one postgame, per Bryan Burns of the team's official website.

Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL

Jon Cooper said he doesn't react much on the bench but had a jump in his step on Kucherov's back-post shot late in regulation. Said <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bolts?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bolts</a> had chances, they just didn't go in. "You can't pick your adversity, you hit a little bit of it and you have to fight your way through it."

As Cooper noted, the Lightning did have their chances, and they converted on two of them. Goodrow's goal came at 17:20 of the second period off a turnover in the Canadiens' own zone:

NHL on NBC Sports @NHLonNBCSports

ALL TIED UP. 🚨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBolts?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoBolts</a> get the equalizer late in the second. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/86HoP6IEqE">pic.twitter.com/86HoP6IEqE</a>

In the third, Pat Maroon came through in the clutch after Tyler Johnson skated into the Habs' end and sliced a pass to the forward, who took care of the rest at 13:48 of the third period:

NHL on NBC Sports @NHLonNBCSports

PAT MAROON TIES IT! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBolts?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoBolts</a><br><br>📺: NBC <a href="https://t.co/eamrEYGrkh">pic.twitter.com/eamrEYGrkh</a>

Momentum was squarely on the Lightning's side for the remainder of regulation and into overtime, but that game-winning goal did not arrive.

Ultimately, the Lightning are still up 3-1 in this series and head back home to Amalie Arena for Game 5. They've been tremendous for much of the Cup, even if this game didn't go their way. 


What's Next?

Tampa Bay will host Montreal for Game 5 on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.