Anderson scores OT winner as Montreal stays alive in Stanley Cup finals

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Josh Anderson scored twice, including the game winner 4:21 into overtime, to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in game four of the Stanley Cup finals.

Anderson's winner came moments after Montreal had killed off a four-minute Tampa powerplay to cut the Lightning's series lead to 3-1 and force a game five in the best-of-seven NHL championship series.

Anderson, who opened the scoring in the first period, dove out front and chipped the puck over the right leg pad of Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, sparking a wild celebration in front of the pandemic-limited crowd of 3,500 at the Bell Centre arena. Anderson started the play by driving wide with the puck and carrying it deep into the Lightning zone.

The goal kept Montreal alive in the playoffs as they avoided being swept in a finals series for the first time since 1952.

Montreal have struggled to keep pace with the Lightning's explosive offence in the finals, but Canadien fans are hoping that Anderson's two goals and goaltender Carey Price's improved play Monday will give them a confidence boost moving forward. The series now switches back to Florida on Wednesday night.

Montreal killed off a double minor penalty to captain Shea Weber to start the overtime and even created one of their best scoring chances of the game while shorthanded when Canada's Nick Suzuki got free for an open shot but Vasilevskiy got his pad on it.

The puck immediately went down to the other end of the ice where Price robbed Brayden Point in close as both goaltenders made huge saves early in the extra session.

Price had his best game of the series, finishing with 32 saves in the second of two straight games in Montreal which is hosting its first Stanley Cup final since the Canadiens won their most recent Cup in 1993.