Lightning fans can breath a long-awaited sigh of relief. Having watched their team twice fail to put a dagger in a persistent Canadiens club, the Tampa Bay faithful watched the Lightning win Game 6 in convincing 4-1 fashion to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Looking to become just the fifth team in NHL history to overcome a three games to none deficit, Montreal staved off elimination in consecutive games and skated onto the ice Tuesday night hoping to push the series to a Game 7.
But the Lightning, who racked up the best home record in the league this season, weren't going to let that happen in Amalie Arena. They controlled the pace of play throughout, taking 28 shots to Montreal's 19, winning 36 of 26 face-offs and notching seven takeaways.
Nikita Kucherov paced the offense for Tampa, netting the game's first goal 15 minutes into the first period, then dishing a power-play assist to Ondrej Palat late in the second. Sandwiched between those scores was Steven Stamkos's second-period goal, assisted by Alex Killorn and Matt Carle.
Max Pacioretty recorded Montreal's lone goal late in the third period, but that was answered less than three minutes later by Kucherov's empty-netter.