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Stanley Cup Final Game 2 takeaways: Tampa Bay Lightning go up 2-0 over Montreal Canadiens – ESPN

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at home on Wednesday night. It was a game with outstanding goaltending, and a goal-of-the-year candidate from Blake Coleman that beat the second-period buzzer.

Miss any of the game? We’re here with the top takeaways.

More: Cup Final schedule | Playoff Central

Stanley Cup Final Game 2 in 10 words or fewer

Still can’t believe Blake Coleman scored that goal.

The Lightning are fond of reminding everyone that when things go wrong for them, they know Vasilevskiy is going to be there to save the day. Well, the shot suppression they exhibited in their last three home games wasn’t there in Game 2, as Montreal peppered Vasilevskiy with 43 shots. He turned away all but one of them, and the one he let in was a double-deflection goal.

He now has a .968 save percentage in the first two games of this series, stopping 60 of 62 shots. Carey Price has an .840 save percentage in the series. Advantage: Big Cat.

What worked for Tampa Bay?

Besides Vasilevskiy bailing out every mistake they made, it was the Lightning’s depth that won the day again. The three goals came from three different lines, and all three came at even strength. The Lightning power play went 0-for-3 in the game, yet they still outpaced the Canadiens to take a 2-0 series lead. Montreal gave the Lightning their best shot of the series, and Tampa Bay didn’t lose their poise.

What didn’t work for Montreal?

Once again, the Canadiens simply couldn’t get that one goal they needed at a critical time against the Lightning. Tampa Bay’s Ryan McDonagh took a high-sticking double-minor in the first period to give the Canadiens a 4-on-3 power play for 1:55. They were passive and over-patient and squandered the chance to take the lead.

Instead, Tampa Bay scored first, moving to 14-2 when doing so in the playoffs. The score was 2-1 for most of the third period, but for the second straight game the Canadiens couldn’t find the equalizer until the Lightning put the game away.

“I thought we played a heckuva hockey game tonight. But at the same time it wasn’t enough. We’ve got to find that extra gear,” said Canadiens winger Corey Perry.

The goals

Tampa Bay 1-0: Anthony Cirelli (Tyler Johnson, Jan Rutta) | 6:40, 2nd period

Tyler Johnson was moved to the Lightning’s second line after an injured Alex Killorn was scratched for Game 2. He made the difference on this play, as Johnson, Cirelli and Jan Rutta cycled in the attacking zone with Montreal defensemen Jeff Petry and Jon Merrill unable to slow them. Johnson maneuvered through some defensive traffic, bounced a pass off the side boards and found Cirelli at the blue line. His shot bounced off the inside of Price’s blocker as he slowed to make the save, and the Lightning had the all-important first goal against Montreal.

Montreal 1-1: Nick Suzuki (unassisted) | 10:36, 2nd period

With Mikhail Sergachev in the penalty box for interference, the Canadiens got the kind of bounce they rarely received in Game 1. Suzuki’s soft backhander deflected off of Cirelli’s stick and then glanced off of Ryan McDonagh’s stick past Vasilevskiy to tie the game.

Tampa Bay 2-1: Blake Coleman (Barclay Goodrow, Ryan McDonagh) | 19:58, 2nd period

If you just happened to catch the end result of this incredible play — a goal being scored and a Tampa player sliding into the boards — you might have guessed it was Blake Coleman. He’s better lunging with one hand than most players are with two hands on their stick. This goal was a product of the Lightning’s checking line doing their thing: disrupting.

This play should have been safe for Montreal. Shea Weber had the puck on his stick with 8.8 seconds remaining. He passed it to the team’s best defensive forward, Phillip Danault. But Coleman bumped Danault, forcing him to the middle of the ice where Barclay Goodrow collected a turnover. Goodrow poked the puck past Ben Chiarot, swung a backhand pass through Weber with 1.7 seconds left, and Coleman dove past Danault to knock the puck past Price. Goal of the playoffs, and perhaps of the entire season, by Coleman.

Incredibly, the Lightning bench was screaming for Goodrow to shoot the puck, but he thought passing it to Coleman was the more high-percentage play. “I knew that the clock was winding down. But I saw Goodie make the play and just tried to do whatever I could to give him an option. Fortunately, we beat the clock,” said Coleman.

Tampa Bay 3-1: Ondrej Palat (unassisted) | 15:42, 3rd period

play

0:49

Ondrej Palet finds the net after careless play from the Canadiens in a 3-1 win for Tampa Bay.

Remember in Game 1 when Carey Price was done dirty by his team with a series of unforgivable turnovers that led to Lightning goals? More of the same here. Defenseman Joel Edmundson bounced the puck off the end boards. Jeff Petry couldn’t get to it before Ondrej Palat collected the puck and popped it past an unsuspecting Price.

Quote of the night

“It’s just kind of a reflex, really. I don’t think anyone’s really planning to dive on the ice. But in that moment, that was all I had. I don’t know why these goals happen.”

— Blake Coleman on his buzzer-beater in the second period that ended up being the game-winning goal.

Fluid check of the night

Ryan McDonagh smacked Phillip Danault across the head pretty good with his stick in the first period, sending debris flying. The referees signaled for a penalty, but the Montreal center ensured that it would be a double major by showing the referee he was cut with a glove check on his nose. The officials proceeded to give Danault a thorough nasal examination and singalled for the four-minute power play.

Refereeing of the night

Lightning fans didn’t like this interference call on Mikhail Sergachev against Artturi Lehkonen, who slid hard into the boards. The Montreal forward left the game after the penalty, but returned to skate in the third period. Bolts fans were also displeased with the fact that there seemed like three different non-calls during a Tampa Bay power play in the second period — the kind of officiating indifference that makes one wonder if they didn’t want to hand the potent unit a 5-on-3 in a 1-1 game.

The last time we saw Gallagher, he was bleeding profusely after attempting to take Sergachev down in Game 1, but instead hitting his own helmet-less head on the ice. In Game 2, Vasilevskiy succumbed to Gallagher’s particular brand of whimsy, giving the Canadiens winger a little shot … and Gallagher responded by ripping the goalie stick out of Vasilevskiy’s hand.

(Greased) Lightning of the night

Ladies and gentlemen, John Travolta was in the house for Game 2, and managed to stick around past what was obviously his favorite part of the game … the faceoff.

The big question for Game 3: Can the Canadiens rally at home?

Montreal returns to Bell Centre facing its largest series deficit since being down 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. In a bit of a bummer, they’ll have only 3,500 fans at home when the series shifts to Montreal on Friday. The Canadiens petitioned to have 50% capacity — equating to 10,500 fans — for the next set of games, but the request was denied by the provincial government.

“Obviously, we know they’d love to be in the building. It’s just not the case with the way the world is right now,” said Canadiens center Nick Suzuki.

They’re a tremendous defensive team on home ice (2.13 goals-against average), but are going to have to do better than one goal per game against the Lightning and Vasilevskiy. And, needless to say, they’d like to score the first goal, too, as they’re 11-2 when doing so.

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Montreal Canadiens owner supports Logan Mailloux pick, also apologizes for not assessing impact – ESPN Australia

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Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson apologized to “everyone impacted by our decision” while backing his team’s selection of defenseman Logan Mailloux in the first round of last weekend’s NHL draft.

“We gave Logan a second chance, but in doing so we failed to properly assess the impact of our decision on the victim and on anyone who have suffered in similar circumstances. Once again, I want to apologize to everyone impacted by our decision,” Molson said in a letter posted to the Canadiens’ website Wednesday. “I repeat, our actions will speak louder than our words. We will work to continue proving we are an organization this community and our fans can be proud of.”

Mailloux, 18, had “renounced” himself from the draft after multiple news reports covered an incident in Sweden in which he showed teammates a photo that depicted him and a woman engaged in a consensual sexual act. The photo was taken without the consent of the woman, who went to local police. Mailloux was fined but not arrested for invasion of privacy and defamation.

While sources indicated to ESPN that multiple NHL teams were considering taking him on the second day of the draft, Montreal selected him 30th in the first round. The next day, Mailloux said he accepted the Canadiens having drafted him and thought the team could help with his “betterment” as a person.

The decision sparked immediate backlash from fans and media, and eventually led to a handful of sponsors questioning their commitments to the franchise for next season. On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “as a lifelong Habs fan, I am deeply disappointed by the decision” and that the team has “a lot of explaining to do to Montrealers and fans right across the country.”

Molson, who released his letter at the start of the NHL’s free-agent period Wednesday afternoon, specifically addressed the woman.

“I want to say that we do not minimize what she has had to, and continues to have to, live through. No one, especially not an 18-year-old, should have to suffer through a traumatic experience like this. We are there to support her and her family and respect their privacy,” he said. “Our selection of Logan was never intended to be disrespectful towards her or her family, or more generally towards women or other victims of similar situations. Our decision was not intended, in any shape or form, to be an endorsement of the culture of violence against women.”

Molson said that Mailloux is “a young man who committed a serious transgression” but one who is “genuinely remorseful about the pain he has caused” and “committed to becoming a better person and we will work with him through this process.”

The letter spelled out how the Canadiens are preparing to handle Mailloux as a prospect. He will not participate in the Canadiens’ rookie development camp or training camp.

“Being a player in the NHL is a privilege that is earned — not a right that is granted. As the year progresses, we will reassess Logan’s readiness to be part of our organization,” he said.

In addition, the team will develop a plan to raise awareness and educate young men and young women about “this serious issue,” using the team’s resources to “turn a decision that hurt many people into one that brings meaningful and impactful change.”

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Olympic champion Simone Biles withdraws from Tokyo all-around event – Sportsnet.ca

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TOKYO — Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title.

The American gymnastics superstar withdrew from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday that the 24-year-old is opting to not compete. The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.

Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around. Carey initially did not qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals.

The organization said Biles will be evaluated daily before deciding if she will participate in next week’s individual events. Biles qualified for the finals on all four apparatuses, something she didn’t even do during her five-medal haul in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The 24-year-old came to Tokyo as arguably the face of the Games following the retirement of swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt. She topped qualifying on Sunday despite piling up mandatory deductions on vault, floor and beam following shaky dismounts.

She posted on social media on Monday that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. The weight became too heavy after vaulting during team finals. She lost herself in mid-air and completed 1 1/2 twists instead of 2 1/2. She consulted with U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin before walking off the field of play.

When she returned, she took off her bar grips, hugged teammates Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum and Jordan Chiles and turned into the team’s head cheerleader as the U.S. claimed silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

“Once I came out here (to compete), I was like, ‘No mental is, not there so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself,’” Biles said following the medal ceremony.

The decision opens the door wide open for the all-around, a title that was long considered a foregone conclusion. Rebeca Andrade of Brazil finished second to Biles during qualifying, followed by Lee and Russians Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova. The four were separated by three-tenths of a point on Sunday.

Carey now finds herself in the final, capping a remarkable journey for the 21-year-old from Phoenix. She spent two years traveling the globe in an effort to pile up enough points on the World Cup circuit to earn an individual nominative spot, meaning she would be in the Olympics but technically not be part of the four-woman U.S. team.

Carey posted the second-best score on vault and the third-best on floor during qualifying, earning trips to the event finals in the process. Now she finds herself competing for an all-around medal while replacing the athlete considered the greatest of all-time in the sport.

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Tokyo Olympics: Penny Oleksiak becomes Canada's most decorated summer Olympian – The Globe and Mail

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Canada’s Penny Oleksiak races in the women’s 200m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics on 
July 28, 2021. Oleksiak won bronze, making her the Canadian athlete with the most Summer Games medals.

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

Latest Olympic highlights

OLYMPIC EVENTS FOR JULY 28
  • Gymnastics: Decorated gymnast Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics, a day after she pulled out of the team event, putting a sharp focus on mental health at the Games. Canadian gymnast Ellie Black is also out of the final with a sprained ankle.
  • Swimming: Penny Oleksiak swam to her sixth Olympic medal yesterday – the most ever won by a Canadian athlete at the Summer Olympics. This puts her among the ranks of speedskater Cindy Klassen and cyclist and speedskater Clara Hughes, who also have six Olympic medals each. As the Globe’s Cathal Kelly writes from Tokyo, she shows up when it matters, and that’s why she’s Canada’s greatest summer Olympian.
  • Boxing: Canadian boxer Tammara Thibeault will advance in the women’s middleweight boxing event after winning her bout against Nadezhda Ryabets of Kazakhstan by split decision last night. Canadian Caroline Veyre lost in her featherweight quarter-final bout against Italian Irma Testa.
OFF THE FIELD
  • COVID-19 surge: Governors of three prefectures near Tokyo are likely to ask the government to declare states of emergency for their regions, media said on Wednesday, after COVID-19 infections spiked to a record high in the Japanese capital. Tokyo recorded 3,177 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, a new record for the second day in a row. The total of Olympics-related COVID-19 cases since July 1 has risen to 169.
  • Food waste: Olympic organizers have apologized for ordering too much food for their staff during the opening ceremony and letting it go to waste. Videos of trucks carting off boxes of uneaten food went viral online, forcing the apology.

Get the Olympic highlights in your inbox every day with our newsletter, or follow @globeandmail on Twitter for breaking news. Here are yesterday’s Olympic highlights in case you missed them.

Situation in Tokyo, by numbers

WHAT IS THE OLYMPIC MEDAL TALLY IN TOKYO SO FAR?

JAPAN’S LATEST COVID-19 DATA

WHAT TIME IS IT IN TOKYO RIGHT NOW?

More Olympic updates for July 28

  • Rowing: Jessica Sevick and Gabrielle Smith missed the podium finishing sixth in women’s double sculls after posting the fourth-fastest time in the semifinals.
  • Volleyball: Canada’s men’s volleyball team beat Iran in straight sets in its first game of the Olympics.

The Olympic experience

Globe sports reporter Rachel Brady watched a different kind of event at the famous Budokan arena – a Games team changing out the competition mats between the daytime and nighttime sessions Read more behind-the-scenes perspectives from Globe staff at the Olympics.

The Globe and Mail

Tokyo Olympics: Today in photos

From The Globe’s Olympic team

Simone Biles’ legacy may be her courage to look after herself, not the IOC

After experiencing what she called “demons” leading into and during Tuesday’s team competition, superstar gymnast Simone Biles pulled herself. In choosing her mental health over more gold medals, a superstar American gymnast is showing other athletes how much power they have to stand up to the athletic-industrial complex.

Reminder: Before and after the Olympics, women’s sports coverage is lacking

John Doyle: “I’m here to offer you a periodic reminder – before and after the Olympics, women’s sports get less attention than they merit. We will cheer on, or even worship, our women athletes now. Their accomplishments will lift the spirits of a nation and inspire young women to devote themselves to a sport. Then, afterwards, the achievement will become a memory and the activities will barely feature in media coverage, especially on television. This has to stop.”

Tokyo Olympic events to watch tomorrow, July 29

  • Swimming: Penny Oleksiak of Canada swims for gold at the women’s 100 m freestyle event.

Check the full Olympic schedule for the latest event times and competitors.

The Tokyo Olympics: Essential reads

What athletes and teams should Canadians look out for? Consult our guide.

How did Canada’s swimmers use data to get stronger? Grant Robertson and Timothy Moore explain.

Female street skateboarders like Annie Guglia demonstrate the possibility of broader change, writes Nathan Vanderklippe

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