|Posted on April 18, 2014 at 10:50 AM|
Growing up a Montreal Canadiens fan, Dale Weise had dreamed of scoring the winning goal in overtime for his boyhood team in a Stanley Cup playoff game. The right wing lived his dream as the Canadians took Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lighting, scoring the winning goal at 18:08 of overtime to hand Montreal a 5-4 victory and a 1-0 lead in the series.
Weise was delighted when he signed for his boyhood team after Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin traded Raphael Diaz to the Vancouver Canucks in February in order to bring Weise to Montreal. And the Canadiens GM will be feeling pretty pleased with himself after watching Weise pop up to score his first goal in the playoffs and hand Montreal the victory and home-ice advantage in the series and making them favourites with http://www.bet365.com/news/en/betting.
Following good work from Daniel Briere behind the Lighting net, Weise was clinical in clipping the puck into the roof of the net, and the 25-year old admitted he had lived out a childhood dream by scoring the winning goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"Playing for my favourite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life. I knew I was wide open and I saw it coming to me and my eyes got real big. I knew I wasn't going to miss from there. I got down on one leg, the old Brett Hull, and I just ripped it."
The Lightning had earned home-ice advantage after finishing the season just ahead of Montreal in second in the Atlantic Division. And the Floridians played their part in a thrilling first game of the series, with captain Steven Stamkos scoring twice and Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov both scoring their first ever goal in the playoffs.
Stamkos was once again his side’s stand-out player, scoring two goals from five shots and at times single-handily keeping Tampa Bay in the game when Montreal looked in danger of taking the tie away from the Lightning. While the Lightning captain was unlucky to finish on the losing side after such an impressive performance, Tampa Bay are still in this series for as long as Stamkos can continue producing the goods out on the ice and Montreal will be well aware of the threat posed by the centre.
While Montreal controlled much of the possession throughout the game, Tampa Bay’s clinical forward lines wasted little on their way to scoring four goal from just 14 shots while the Canadiens took 35 attempts to score their fourth. But, ultimately, Montreal’s dominance paid off as they were rewarded with Weise’s goal in overtime.
Goals from Lars Elller, Brian Gionta, Tomas Plekanec, Thomas Vanek and Weise ensured each of the Canadiens four forward lines contributed with a goal, much to the delight of coach Michel Therrien.
"We said before the start of the series that we needed a contribution from everyone, and that's what we got tonight,” said Therrien.