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Canadiens seek offensive spark

by Brian Compton
PHILADELPHIA -- It's bad enough for the Montreal Canadiens that they're going home without a victory after the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals.
But it's unfathomable that they're going home without a goal.
That is the case, however, as Michael Leighton denied another 30 shots Tuesday night in the Philadelphia Flyers' 3-0 victory in Game 2 at the Wachovia Center. The Canadiens, who badly outplayed Philadelphia in the first period, get another crack at solving Leighton on Thursday night when this best-of-seven series shifts to Montreal.
"He's been good … he's made big saves," Canadiens forward Brian Gionta said of Leighton. "But we've got to do a better job of getting to the net for the second and third chances and getting bodies in front. When he sees it, he's going to make the saves." 
The Canadiens had numerous chances in the opening period, when they outshot the Flyers 16-6. Montreal received three power plays in the first 20 minutes, but Scott Gomez negated the first one after 53 seconds by taking a hooking penalty. Leighton stood tall on the others and stopped six shots alone while Ville Leino served a holding penalty 7:11 into the period.
Overall, the Canadiens are now 0-for-8 on the power play in the series.
"He's played well for them and they've done some things well," said Habs forward Mike Cammalleri, who was robbed by Leighton on the doorstep during Montreal's second power play. "I'm not going to say they haven't. Tonight, I thought we did a lot better job. I thought we were pretty good. We created some good chances and had some Grade-A type scoring chances where we'd like to finish. I don't really know what else to say about that. We just keep going here and get 'em at home."
Considering how the Canadiens have fought back in each of the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it would be foolish to count them out now. But there's no question they need to start finding the back of the net before it's too late.
"We've got guys who've gone through this before," said Gomez, who was held to one shot on goal. "Playing on some New Jersey teams, we didn't score for five, six … you know, it's one of those things. No one's squeezing their sticks. It's the Eastern Conference Finals. We've got to get some traffic in front of him. We get an ugly one and away we go. We've got to find it, that's for sure. We've got to make an adjustment, and we will."
So despite the fact that their power play is in quite a funk, despite the fact that Leighton has stopped all 58 shots he's faced in this series, despite the fact they've been outscored 9-0, the Canadiens vow that frustration isn't starting to seep in.
"You can't get frustrated," Gionta said. "At this time of year, it's about getting wins. Now we've got to regroup and get back home and make sure that we take advantage of our home ice."
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

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