The Lightning issued an easy goal against the Canadiens on Sunday, as goalie Jonas Johansson and his teammates mistakenly thought a puck was frozen. Photo Credit: TSN Canadiens defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic scores an easy goal after the Lightning players assumed the puck was frozen. Photo Credit: TSN

During Sunday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Tampa Bay Lightning submitted a late entry in the “worst goal of the year” competition.

Trailing 1-0, Tampa Bay had the puck in its attack end. Montreal goalie Sam Montembeault got control of the puck and froze it — or at least that’s what the Lightning thought.

Thinking the puck was frozen, Tampa Bay’s skaters headed toward the bench for a line change while goalie Jonas Johansson left his net for a quick skate. The problem? The puck was not frozen. And since the whistle never blew, the puck was actually live.

Realizing this, Montembeault got the puck to defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic, who skated forward into the faceoff circle before taking a shot at the open net. The puck went in and Montreal had a 2-0 lead, thanks to one of the easiest goals ever issued.

Since he shot before crossing center ice, the shot was somewhat risky for Kovacevic and the Canadiens. Had he missed, it would have likely been icing and the Montreal players on the ice would not have been allowed to change during the stoppage of play. Fortunately for the Canadiens, Kovacevic found the back of the net.

Tampa bounced back nicely from the mental blunder. Kovacevic’s goal put Montreal up 2-0, but the Lightning came back with a pair of goals later in the period to tie it at 2-2 heading into the third period.

[CJ Fogler on Twitter/X, Photo Credit: TSN]

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