MONTREAL – The road team has won every game of the Montreal-Boston series so far and the Habs are looking to keep that trend alive.
After a slow start on Monday night, the Canadiens were determined to explode out of the gate in Game 4. Taking an early lead in the first period and outshooting the Bruins 15-8 in the opening frame, the Habs did exactly that, looking like a team that would be heading back to Boston with a 3-1 series lead.
“We were excellent in the first 30 minutes but we made too many turnovers and that cost us,” explained Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin, who saw his team give up 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3 in Game 4. “That’s what the playoffs are all about. Momentum swings even during the game. We had the momentum with our play in the first half of the game and they took it away with their play in the second half.”
It may not have felt like it to the 21,273 fans who witnessed the game in person, but the overtime loss on Thursday night isn’t putting any added pressure on the Canadiens heading into Game 5.
“Before the series, if we would’ve said that we’d be tied 2-2 after four games, that’s something a lot of people wouldn’t have thought we’d be able to do,” mentioned Martin of his sixth-seeded Habs. “Now it’s a best-of-three so we’ll have to regroup and be prepared to be at our best on Saturday.”
While Tomas Plekanec
realizes the opportunity his team let slip away in the outing, he also knows the series is far from over.
“That was a huge game, obviously. Being up 3-1 is different than being tied 2-2 going to Boston,” admitted the 28-year-old center who assisted on Andrei Kostitsyn’s second period marker. “We showed a lot of character during the season, we have a good team here and we’re going to keep our heads up. For sure after winning the first two in Boston we would’ve liked to come back and win at least one at home, but at the same time, the series is still 2-2. Now we just have to go win a third one over there.”
A few stalls down from Plekanec, another Czech Republic native was equally eager to take the lesson out of Thursday’s loss.
“We maybe started watching them play and back onto our heels a little bit,” offered Jaroslav Spacek. “Little mistakes cost us the game. We were playing well and had a lot of chances. We gave up the lead three times – to lose that game was a really tough one.
“All season long we’ve played well and we’ve proven we can bounce back from losses like this,” added the 37-year-old blue-liner. “We just have to settle down. You make little mistakes and we paid the price today. Hopefully we’ll learn from that and we’ll be better on Saturday.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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