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Lightning put loss behind them, regroup for Game 5

by Corey Long /

TAMPA -- There are not many good things the Tampa Bay Lightning can take from a 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on Thursday.

However, the Lightning can take solace in the fact they didn't play a good game but are up 3-1 in the best-of-7 series with Game 5 at Bell Centre on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"We got the beating we deserved [Thursday]," defenseman Anton Stralman said Friday. "You want to do things right and we haven't been doing that over the last couple of games."

The Lightning have been outshot, outworked and outhustled for most of the series, but they have been saved by the strong play of goalie Ben Bishop and the ability to take advantage of the right chance at the right time.

All of that came crashing down Thursday, especially the play of Bishop, who was pulled early in the second period after giving up three goals on 14 shots. Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban remarked that Bishop had been "sitting on a horseshoe for a little bit" to describe his ability to keep pucks out of the net.

"He might be right," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Or [Bishop] might be a good goalie. [Subban] is a character, he's a fun guy to have in the League for statements like that."

Whether Bishop has been lucky or good is another topic for discussion, but forward Ryan Callahan said the Lightning need to help out their goalie a little more.

"We have to get back to our speed game, our transition game," Callahan said. "I think we're at our best when we move the puck up the ice and attack the other team. There hasn't been enough of that the last couple games. We could make [Bishop's] life a little easier."

Stralman said Bishop is still playing at a high level and expects him to bounce back Saturday with a strong performance.

"One thing that happened last night was we gave up too many good chances," Stralman said. "Odd-man rushes, breakaways … those are the plays that are going to hurt you."

Cooper said it's hard to expect a team to play at its peak every game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning and Canadiens are going through the same rigors of the season and each is trying to find that extra gear to continue their march toward a championship.

"We're in our [94th] game this season; it's a grind even though it's fun to be a part of this," Cooper said. "I talk to many coaches in the League and they all say the same things happen in the playoffs. You win some games you should have lost and you lose some you played well enough to win. We have to put our best foot forward and play hard."

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