NHL-Lightning beat Canadiens to take 2-0 Stanley Cup Finals lead

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·2 min read
Montreal Canadiens hockey fans watch the second away game of the Stanley Cup Finals in Montreal
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(Reuters) -Tampa Bay's Blake Coleman scored a diving, game-winning goal and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 42 shots as the Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 to take a 2-0 series lead in the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday.

Thrashed 5-1 in the opener, the Canadiens came out on a mission to avenge that defeat and outplayed the home team through the first 20 minutes but could find no way past the defending champions netminder Vasilevskiy.

The Lightning got on the board first through Anthony Cirelli's goal from distance midway through the second period before Montreal levelled on a power play backhander from Nick Suzuki.

In one of the best plays of the postseason, Tampa Bay forward Coleman stretched out with one hand to redirect a pass from Barclay Goodrow and score with less than a second remaining in the second.

Ondrej Palat then scored off a defensive-zone turnover, his shot ricocheting off the skate of goalie Carey Price, to put the game out of reach of the visitors at a frenzied Amalie Arena with less than five minutes to play.

Coleman paid tribute to his team mate Goodrow for the pass that set up his spectacular score.

"Great play by 'Goodie,'" Coleman said.

"Just a little area pass to give me a chance and I did everything I could to get it on net. Fortunately it found the back of the net and the boys locked it down in the third."

Coleman said the goal came at just the right time for the Lightning.

"A lot of guys were visibly frustrated with the second period," he said.

"We know we're a lot better team than we showed there and sometimes all you need is that bounce, that break."

Both sets of players threw punches shortly after the game ended. The series moves to Montreal for Game Three on Friday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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