BROSSARD, Quebec -- Three years ago, the sixth-seeded Montreal Canadiens came home with a 2-0 series lead against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Bell Centre was rocking when the Canadiens and Bruins took the ice for Game 3.
But instead of riding the momentum of winning the first two games of the series on the road, the Canadiens lost Game 3, 4-2, and Game 4, 5-4 in overtime. Boston won two of the final three games to advance, and Montreal was left wondering what happened to the "commanding" 2-0 series lead they had.
The Canadiens now have plenty of different players on their roster and a different coach. But for those who remain, it was a valuable lesson that can be applied to Games 3 and 4 of their 2014 Eastern Conference First Round series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Montreal leads the best-of-7 series after winning the first two games in Tampa Bay, including 4-1 on Friday. Game 3 is Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, SUN).
"It's big, it's huge, but at the end of the day, we fell into that trap against Boston a few years back," Canadiens captain Brian Gionta said Saturday. "We won two games in their building and we came back and let off the gas a bit. So we need to make sure that tomorrow night is our focus and we have to do the things that have made us successful in the first two games and make sure we stick with that."