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Lightning's Carle draws on '10 experience with Flyers

by James Murphy

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle has been here before. In 2010, Carle was playing for the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and he and his teammates had just lost Game 3 to the Boston Bruins on home ice to fall behind 3-0 in the series.

The whole world seemed to have the brooms ready for Game 4, but the Flyers had other ideas. Philadelphia won Game 4 in overtime to force a Game 5 back in Boston, and the rest is history, as the Flyers won the next three, including erasing a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 at Boston to win the game and the series.

It was the third time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history a team erased a three-game series deficit.

Now, Carle and the Lightning hope to erase the Montreal Canadiens' 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference First Round series to become the fourth team to accomplish the monumental comeback. But as Carle pointed out after an optional practice Monday, they're in a bit of a different scenario than the Flyers were.

"It was a little different because [the Flyers] started on the road, so Game 4 was at home," Carle said. "I think that whole mentality going into that game was just to not get embarrassed in front of our home fans and just try to win one. We won that game in overtime and went on the road and ultimately won the series."

As for what he and the Lightning will have to do in what promises to be a hostile at Bell Centre on Tuesday, Carle is hoping it's the complete opposite of what they did in Game 3, when they allowed Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban to complete an end-to-end pass to a streaking Rene Bourque, who scored 11 seconds into the first period.

"You want to get off to a good start in every game, and I think last game couldn't have been a worse start," Carle said. "We've kind of faced everything here. But you want to play desperate and have a nothing-to-lose mentality with a loose attitude and just play our game and go from there."

Carle will be there to provide insight and advice for his teammates, but when it comes down to it, they just have to go out and get the job done collectively. Carle believes his team already has the right mentality to get the series back to Tampa for Game 5, and if they can feed off the things they did right in Game 3, that just might happen.

"I think everybody's probably saying the same thing and that it's just a game at a time and however far we can extend the series that will be the same message," Carle said. "Guys have asked me about it, and it's always just the same thing. You think about the task at hand and trying to win four straight. You lose three [straight], and it seems like the world is collapsing a little bit and to win four straight now is pretty tough, but you get one game and get the momentum going.

"The weird thing is last game was probably our best game, and I don't think we're feeling as bad as most people probably think. We're looking forward to [Tuesday]."

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