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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 9:03 PM

By Jon Lane -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Matt Carkner on comebacks, Montreal Canadiens

Comebacks have been the order of the day during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. All three games Wednesday saw teams overcome deficits to even its series at 2-2. The eight games in which the winning team has overcome a deficit of two or more goals match the total for the entire 2013 postseason.

"If you're watching the game in the first period at home and you go to put your kids to bed or something and go read them a book, and then come down for the third, there's two different games going on," Islanders defenseman Matt Carkner said Thursday while visiting the NHL offices. "The momentum swings and just the all-out intensity is pretty cool to see. I think it's great for the fans to know either team has a chance. That's the way it's going to be for a long time."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 7:29 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning defenseman Gudas out for Game 4

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas will not play Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 2:26 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning plan to empty tank trying to avoid sweep

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping their strong play over the final two periods of Game 3 will carry over into Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 pm ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F).

The Canadiens lead the best-of-7 series 3-0 and are looking to complete the sweep. If the Lightning win, Game 5 will be Thursday at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The fact they don't really have a choice but to maintain that high level of play makes it a bit easier for the Lightning to focus on the positives of their 3-2 loss on Sunday.

The main point for Lightning coach Jon Cooper was that the youth on his team experiencing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time walked into an extremely hostile environment at Bell Centre on Sunday and showed no signs of wilting under the pressure.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 1:49 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning's Salo practices, possibility for Game 4

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Sami Salo practiced Tuesday morning and could return to the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens (7 pm ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F).

Salo missed a 3-2 Lightning loss in Game 3 on Sunday with an upper-body injury, but he was paired with scratched defenseman Keith Aulie at the morning skate, so it's possible Salo is out for Game 4.

Otherwise, neither the Lightning nor the Canadiens are expected to make lineup changes.

The Canadiens held an optional skate Tuesday with 13 skaters and backup goalie Peter Budaj taking part.

Here are the projected lineups:

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 12:18 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning's Bishop takes shots, Cooper encouraged

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was on the ice Tuesday morning and took a few shots as he continues his recovery from an upper-body injury that has sidelined him since April 8.

However, coach Jon Cooper ruled out any possibility of Bishop making a miraculous recovery to start Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F).

"No chance," Cooper said. "But it's encouraging to watch what's happening."

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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 6:39 PM

By James Murphy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning's Carle draws on '10 experience with Flyers

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle has been here before. In 2010, Carle was playing for the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and he and his teammates had just lost Game 3 to the Boston Bruins on home ice to fall behind 3-0 in the series.

The whole world seemed to have the brooms ready for Game 4, but the Flyers had other ideas. Philadelphia won Game 4 in overtime to force a Game 5 back in Boston, and the rest is history, as the Flyers won the next three, including erasing a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 at Boston to win the game and the series.

It was the third time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history a team erased a three-game series deficit.

Now, Carle and the Lightning hope to erase the Montreal Canadiens' 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference First Round series to become the fourth team to accomplish the monumental comeback. But as Carle pointed out after an optional practice Monday, they're in a bit of a different scenario than the Flyers were.

"It was a little different because [the Flyers] started on the road, so Game 4 was at home," Carle said. "I think that whole mentality going into that game was just to not get embarrassed in front of our home fans and just try to win one. We won that game in overtime and went on the road and ultimately won the series."


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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 2:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning's Stamkos expected to play Game 4

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said Monday he is fine after sustaining an apparent upper-body injury Sunday and expects to play in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F).

The Canadiens hold a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series and will be going for the sweep at Bell Centre.

"I feel pretty good so, yeah, I'm expecting to play," Stamkos told the media Monday. "It was a tough game [Sunday]. I thought we battled hard, but I'll be ready for the next one."

Stamkos was able to return for the third period of Game 3 after being forced to leave at 16:09 of the second.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 6:53 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning's Palat returns for Game 3

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper made four lineup changes for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday, including the return of forward Ondrej Palat.

Defensemen Sami Salo and Michael Kostka and forwards Nikita Kucherov and Richard Panik were scratched to make room for Palat, B.J. Crombeen, Tom Pyatt and Mark Barberio.

Salo took part in the morning skate Sunday, but the Lightning said he will miss the game with an upper-body injury.


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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 1:42 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Palat remains a game-time decision for Lightning

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning rookie forward Ondrej Palat skated for a second straight day Sunday but remains a game-time decision for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET: NBCSN, CBC, RDS, SUN).

"We have a lot of guys available to play," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "There will be 20 guys come seven o'clock that are going to be ready to play. He might or might not be one of those guys. I hope he's going to be one of those guys."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 1:36 PM

By James Murphy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Canadiens look to stay composed on home ice

BROSSARD, Quebec – The Montreal Canadiens return to Bell Centre for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, SUN) looking to take advantage of playing in their home arena with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"I think we could've been better at home this season and I think it can be used as a tool for us, especially during playoff time," Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges said following the morning skate Sunday. "We know it's going to be electric in there tonight and we have to use that, feed off that and create some energy and make sure we're flying off the start.

"But at the same time, we have to have a road-like mentality. We can't change the way we play because we're back on home ice. We need to use that energy and excitement or passion to play, but it has to be controlled and smart energy. We need to keep it simple and still play that north-south game."

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