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Canadiens' Therrien sees pressure rising for Lightning

by Corey Long /

BRANDON, Fla. -- The Montreal Canadiens trail the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series, but they aren't giving off the impression of a team on the brink of elimination.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien on Monday said the Lightning are feeling the pressure heading into Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) because they don’t have the experience in these situations. Game 7, if needed, would be Thursday.

"For sure there is more pressure on them," Therrien said. "We've been there. And the longer it goes the more they will feel that pressure. We were there in the first round and the fourth one is the toughest one because you are facing a team that's really desperate. And on our side we feel good to play in those types of games. Look at our record over the past two years when we've had our backs against the wall."

Therrien's confidence comes from the fact Montreal has appeared to outplay Tampa Bay in at least four of the five games in the series. Now they are beginning to get rewarded for that play with good bounces and timely goals.

The energy the Canadiens have drawn from wins in the past two games excites forward Max Pacioretty. And with Carey Price in goal, Montreal continues to feed off his effort and success in clutch situations.

"We always have confidence when Carey is back there, and he gives us that little extra motivation to play well in front of him," Pacioretty said. "We recognize that he’s the best player on our team and we want to do what we can to make sure he keeps getting the recognition he deserves."

Pacioretty said he doesn't want the dire situation of every game to be ignored.

"We have to make sure we stick to being focused because one bad shift and we're out of this series," he said. "It's great to have the energy and the momentum and the confidence. But there's still no room for error."

Pacioretty said the Canadiens will continue to feed off of their first two games at Amalie Arena, where they had success taking the Lightning out of their game and the crowd noise out of the building. But as far as he's concerned, the location of the games doesn't matter much at this stage.

"We were in this situation in the first round and we closed it out on the road (against the Ottawa Senators)," Pacioretty said. "I think it's pretty insignificant; sometimes you look too much into home-ice matchups and the benefits of them. But it's something we can't control so we can't really worry about it."

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