BROSSARD - If the Canadiens hope to avoid going down two games to none in their first-round playoff series with the Rangers, they're obviously going to have to find ways to solve Henrik Lundqvist come Friday night.
After watching the veteran goaltender turn aside all 31 of their shots in a 2-0 loss in the series-opener, Claude Julien's group went right back to work on Thursday morning at the Bell Sports Complex, focusing their efforts on trying to get their scoring mojo going again with Game 2 on the horizon.
Capitalizing on the opportunities Lundqvist affords them every so often would clearly be a good place to start.
"We have to go to the slot and battle for the puck. It's there. We've got to be better in those aspects. We're creating chances. They're there. Lundqvist gave us some rebounds. We just have to bury them," said Alexander Radulov, who amassed just one shot on goal while logging 17:37 of ice time in Game 1 on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. "We got zero goals. That's not good. We have to focus and get stronger in those one-on-one battles in front of the net and bear down."
Video: Radulov on generating offense and scoring goals
Creating more and more traffic in front of the Vezina Trophy winner would also help the Canadiens' cause in their quest to put the Rangers on their collective heels instead of the other way around.
"We all know that Lundqvist is good on that first shot when he sees it. That's what we're trying to do. It's playoffs. That's how goals are going to get scored," insisted Radulov, who registered 18 goals during the regular season, ranking him third on the roster alongside Artturi Lehkonen. "You have to be in front of him and find that rebound."
Even though the bounces didn't go their way in the series-opener, the Canadiens aren't about to let it affect the way they prepare for a critical tilt on home turf, before the series shifts to Madison Square Garden in Manhattan over the weekend.
"We had our opportunities and we weren't able to capitalize on them. There's no panic in this room at all. It's a seven-game series for a reason. I think there are just a few things we need to correct and get better at. I think we did that [on Thursday] and we'll be ready for Game 2," said Jeff Petry, who chipped in with three of the Canadiens' 53 hits on Wednesday night in a physical affair. "We just want to focus on the process, and if we play the right way the results are going to come."
Video: Petry on capitalizing on scoring chances
Julien is standing by that thought process, too, heading into the next installment of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup, which will likely be just as tight as the last one.
"You have to give their goaltender credit. Normally, if we had a bounce go our way on some of those saves, it would have been a goal. They only scored one goal on our goaltender, so I don't see why it isn't a problem on their side as much as it is on ours," said Julien, who will reveal any lineup changes for Game 2 on Friday. "We have to work to create our own chances. We realize that we have to score to win, but we aren't panicking after one game."