Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Down 2-0 to Lightning, Canadiens' Top Reason for Optimism Is Price

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Down 2-0 to Lightning, Canadiens' Top Reason for Optimism Is Price

Article excerpt

Price is top reason for Canadiens' confidence

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TAMPA, Fla. - P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens can see the light despite the 2-0 series hole they've dug themselves into against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Whenever you come to Florida and you get a little bit of sunshine, everyone seems to smile a little bit more," Subban said Tuesday. "We're optimistic at this point.

"We're not pessimistic, I'll tell you that right now. We're one win away from being back in the series."

The Canadiens' confidence comes from their five-on-five play in the series, knowing if they can stay out of the penalty box they're bound to have more success than they did in Game 2. But their biggest reason to believe they can get back in this second-round series is goaltender Carey Price, who so many times this season has carried the Habs on his shoulders.

The good news for Montreal is Price sounded almost as upbeat as Subban ahead of Game 3 on Wednesday night.

"I feel great," Price said. "I'm doing what I've been doing my whole life."

Struggles against the Lightning aside -- a 3.47 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in the regular season and eight goals on 59 shots so far in the playoffs -- Price has shown often this season the ability to single-handedly will Montreal to victories.

The Vezina and Hart Trophy finalist shook off a 6-2 loss Sunday and insisted his focus in on Game 3 alone.

"It's all in your mindset," Price said. "For me it's pretty simple.

"Regardless of good performances or bad performances, for me it's a pretty simple equation. It's been working all season, so I don't see a reason to change it now."

Price is 12-4-4 with two days between games this season. That's the situation he's facing again with the pressure at its highest point.

"It just lets you physically recover a little bit," Price said. "Obviously the playoffs are a grind, you're playing every second day.

"Mentally it's taxing so being able to step away from the rink for a day and having a practice day to kind of fine-tune a few things is definitely beneficial."

Price may have some adjustments to make given that Tampa Bay has had the most sustained success against him this year. …

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