The Canadiens threw everything but the kitchen sink at Ed Belfour but it still wasn't enough.
MONTREAL - Eastern Conference rivals expecting the Canadiens to throw in the towel having now lost four straight don't know Guy Carbonneau very well.
Without Alex Kovalev, Mike Johnson and Craig Rivet in his lineup, the Habs' coach wasn't about to fault his troops, who outshot the Panthers by a 29-25 margin.
"We followed our game plan," said Carbonneau. "We played the type of game we have to when missing a few bodies. We didn't get a break that could've shifted the momentum here tonight.
"I don't expect us to stop working," added Carbonneau. "I know we're going to keep plugging away and we'll get through this. We're on the right track and we just need things to start going our way again."
Like his defiant head coach, Begin isn't about to say "uncle".
"This isn't the first rough patch we've been through and other guys in his room have been through worse stretches with other teams," reasoned Begin.
The feisty forward also knows what the Canadiens are capable of doing when the playoffs are right around the corner. The Habs did, after all, catch fire down the stretch in both 2004 and 2006 to qualify for the playoffs. With 24 games remaining, the Canadiens still have plenty of racetrack to work with.
"We're going to only get out of this together," vowed Begin. "We need to look at the positives of what we did here tonight and carry those over into New Jersey on Wednesday. We'll find a way to solve this."
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com