Josh Anderson knew his team was on the brink of elimination after the Montreal Canadiens blew two leads in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night but he was determined to let his team fight another day.
Anderson’s two-goal evening led the Canadiens to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre, forcing the series back to Florida for a Game 5 on Wednesday night.
“We didn’t want to end it tonight in front of our fans,” Anderson said. “We expected to go to Tampa tomorrow. I think everybody in that locker room did. [We] packed our bags this afternoon. Just had that feeling that we were going to win tonight and give ourselves a chance. We’ll go there, take care of business and come home in front of our fans. We’re in a good position now.”
Anderson scored with 4:21 left in the first period, putting Montreal ahead for the first time in the series and was the lone goal of the opening frame.
Tampa Bay came back to tie the score in the second period off a goal from Barclay Goodrow as the Lightning took advantage of a Habs turnover. Montreal took the 2-1 lead in the third period but Tampa came back to tie things again, this time with the puck finding the back of the net on a Pat Maroon shot.
Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme made several lineup changes but refused to take out 14-year pro goaltender Carey Price for backup Jake Allen.
“Nothing. Just a tap on the pads,” Ducharme said. “Pricey’s got experience, he’s a competitor. We wanted to be better in front of him. He said what he said and he answered the bell tonight.”
The Lightning leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 and will look to clinch back-to-back championships on Wednesday night in Tampa Bay for Game 5.