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Road, Sweet Road

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – The Canadiens will be looking to play the way they did on the road at home in Game 4.

After watching the Habs come in to TD Garden and steal Games 1 and 2, the Bruins turned the table on Montreal in Game 3. Coming into the series as sixth-seeded underdogs, the Canadiens played a relentless shut-down game in Boston, but that’s not what All-Star netminder Carey Price saw from his team on Monday night.

Highlights Canadiens - Bruins: Game 3
“I think it started in the morning. Guys were horsing around in the pregame skate and weren’t ready to play,” described Price, who has stopped 86 of the 90 shots he’s faced in the series. “I thought we got what we deserved in the first period. After that, we came back in the second half and played like a focused hockey team and played like we should.”

The Habs fired 28 of their 36 shots in the second and third periods to help mount a come-back with goals by Andrei Kostitsyn and Tomas Plekanec. Despite the late surge, the three-goal deficit turned out to be too much for the Canadiens to dig their way out of.

“It definitely makes you aware of the real situation,” admitted Price. “They’re a good hockey team and if we don’t play like we did in Boston, we’re not going to win hockey games.

“Mistakes are going to get made and goals are going to get scored,” he added. “We weren’t expecting to sweep Boston going into it, so we’re still happy with where we’re at. Tonight, we’ll think about this game and tomorrow we’ll refocus and get prepared for the next one.”

No stranger to the ups and downs of playoff hockey himself, Hal Gill knows the secret to success in the postseason isn’t as complex as it seems.

“Boston is a good team and if we don’t play a desperate game with focus and urgency then we’re going to get beat,” explained the 36-year-old veteran, who now has 101 career playoff games under his belt. “We have to recognize what we do well and stick to it. That’s not making plays in the middle; it’s grinding it out and supporting each other. If it means taking three more steps to get into position, then that’s what you do. You don’t take the shortcut and we did that too often.”

A defensive pillar for the Penguins during back-to-back runs to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009 – winning it all the second time around – before leading the Habs to the Conference final last spring, Gill knows better than anyone there’s no such thing as an easy ride in the playoffs.

“It’s going to go back and forth. It’s all momentum swings and that’s playoff hockey. You have to ride that wave and try to stay on top of it as much as possible,” prescribed Gill. “The next one is going to be a hard-fought win. We have to go out and work our butts off to get that win. We’ll get some rest now and regroup, look at tape and we’ll talk to each other about what we do well. Then we’ll go out and do it well on Thursday.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

See also:

Postgame comments: Gionta, Gill, Gomez, Darche
The Numbers Game - April 18, 2011
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