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Lightning hope to roll Game 5 positives into Game 6

by Corey Long /

The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to build off of a better effort in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round when they try to close out the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

The Lightning were able to put more pressure on Canadiens goalie Carey Price on Saturday and Steven Stamkos scored his second goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, the Canadiens got a good bounce when Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored the game-winning goal at 15:53 of the third period off a shot that hit the crossbar and went past Lightning goalie Ben Bishop and into the net. Tampa Bay lost 2-1 but leads the best-of-7 series 3-2.

"I still like our position," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said Sunday. "I'd rather be up 3-2 than down. And we're coming home now. It's going to be a tough game but they have all been tough games."

After a goal from Canadiens forward Devante Smith-Pelly gave Montreal a 1-0 lead at 9:01 of the first period, the Lightning started to build their offensive attack and get more quality chances on Price; Stamkos broke through at 9:27 of the third period.

Lightning forward Brendan Morrow said it was a step in the right direction for a team that had been outplayed in the previous two games.

"They have done a real good job at making [Bishop's] life miserable and we needed to start making life miserable for Price," Morrow said. "He has made some big saves … some timely saves. But we've have been making it too easy for him as well."

The Lightning have scored five goals in the past three games and part of the problem has been the inability to possess the puck during 5-on-5 play. The Canadiens also have capitalized on their mistake; their goals Saturday were the result of Lightning turnovers.

"My theory on this is during the regular season every team is trying to score but during the playoffs every team is trying to prevent goals," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It's a different mentality and teams know that one or two goals could win the games."

The Lighting return to Amalie Arena and Cooper hopes that the home crowd will be friendlier to Tampa Bay than it was in Game 4 when they lost 6-2. His message has stayed consistent, as he's told his players to embrace the moment and try to enjoy it.

"As a team we're people-pleasers," Cooper said. "And when we go home I think guys try extra hard to make that special play. Let's take a breath and play to the system and structure. Try to suck in that energy from the crowd and play the way we have to get to this point."

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