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Canadiens gain momentum for Game 5 vs. Lightning

by Sean Farrell /



Tampa Bay leads best-of-7 series 3-1

The Montreal Canadiens are happy to be playing one more game in front of their fans on Saturday, when they hope a second straight win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round will keep their season alive.

Montreal avoided elimination with a 6-2 win against Tampa Bay at Amalie Arena on Thursday. The Canadiens have won Game 4 six of 11 times after trailing a best-of-7 series 3-0.

Defenseman Jeff Petry said Montreal has momentum after chasing Lightning goalie Ben Bishop in Game 4 on its way to ending an eight-game losing streak against Tampa Bay.

"I think it's definitely in our advantage going back to the Bell Centre," Petry said Friday. "The focus is one more game here and just take it one game at a time. We've just got to win one game and that was our focus [Thursday], and that's got to be our focus moving forward."

The Canadiens showed they could bounce back from a crushing defeat after allowing Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson to score the game-winning goal with 1.1 seconds remaining in Game 3, meaning that Montreal needed to win four straight elimination games to survive.

"I don't think it was hard to stay positive or anything like that," Petry said. "We know we were getting our chances in the first three games and we weren't getting some puck luck, and [Thursday] night I don't think we changed our style of play or anything like that, I think we continued to stay the course and it paid off for us."

Four teams in Stanley Cup Playoff history have come back to win a best-of-7 series after trailing 3-0.

That said, the Lightning find nothing cliché about how difficult it is to get that fourth win in a series no matter how many opportunities they may have.

"That's definitely the hardest win to get," Tampa Bay forward Ryan Callahan said. "The other team is very desperate; their season's on the line and it's key to match that desperation and make sure you come ready to play."

Callahan said it is important for Tampa Bay to rely on its speed and transition game to match Montreal’s level of desperation, which was higher than the Lightning's in the past two games.

"I think there are some things we can clean up in the defensive zone, but I think we're at our best when we're playing fast and we're moving the puck up ice and we're attacking the other team," Callahan said. "And I don't think there's been enough of that the last couple of games here and we've got to get back to it."

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