Flash Points: Lightning face daunting task in Montreal

Montreal scored four goals before Tampa Bay responded with just under two minutes to play in the third period.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s not over, but daylight is dwindling.

It’s not over, but a charge is needed ASAP.

There’s no time to waste. There’s no time to fall behind further.

This is playoff hockey. If the Tampa Bay Lightning can’t collect themselves quickly, their stay will be short.

The Lightning are guaranteed at least two games in Canada, on Sunday and Tuesday. But their climb to overtake the Montreal Canadiens looks more daunting after Friday night at Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the visitors earned a 2-0 lead in this Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with a 4-1 victory.

It started well for the Lightning. They outshot the Canadiens 11-10 in the first period. Goaltender Anders Lindback looked up to the challenge. There was more pressure on Montreal goaltender Carey Price than what he faced Wednesday.

But two second-period goals for Montreal — one from center David Desharnais and another from winger Rene Bourque — drained the life from the building. The Lightning’s rally never came. Now, they must find some way to answer on the road.

Here’s a quick look back…

HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT

TURNING POINT

It’s hard to argue against Bourque’s goal in the second period. It was an impressive display of athleticism, one that beat both defenseman Sami Salo and Lindback. At that point, a two-goal lead looked mighty large.

STAR OF THE GAME

Rene Bourque. His first goal changed the game’s flow. The home crowd had less energy. The Lightning played with less spark. By his second goal, in the third period, the outcome was decided.

WHAT IT MEANS

This hole looks large. There’s nothing good about a 2-0 series deficit, especially when both games were lost at home. The Canadiens have been the superior team all series. Now, the series shifts to Montreal for Games 3 and 4. Tampa Bay has work to do. Fast.

WHAT’S NEXT

Game 3: Lightning at Canadiens, Sunday, 7 p.m.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.