Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lightning Are Ticked off, Canadiens Are Energized Going into Game 6

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lightning Are Ticked off, Canadiens Are Energized Going into Game 6

Article excerpt

Habs energized for Game 6 against Lightning

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BRANDON, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Lightning were mad as hell, and coach Jon Cooper could tell.

The team had lost its second straight game in its Eastern Conference semifinal against Montreal, a series the Lightning once led 3-0.

"There was a genuine pissed-off attitude that we lost Game 5," Cooper said. "Guys were angry and it's carried over, so I like our mojo. I want to be an angry team."

The Canadiens, meanwhile, were a relaxed, energized group going into Game 6 Tuesday night at Amalie Arena. Now there's a spring in the Habs' stride after cutting Tampa Bay's series lead to 3-2.

"I see a team really excited, I see a team full of energy," coach Michel Therrien said Monday. "I think the excitement brings that energy to our team. I feel a team that can't wait to play tomorrow."

The grind of the playoffs hasn't gotten to the Habs, and falling behind 3-0 to Tampa Bay has only seemed to force them to find another level in their game.

That's nothing new: Montreal is 5-1 dating to last year's playoffs in elimination games. The one loss came when Carey Price was injured and replaced by Dustin Tokarski in the decisive Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers.

"We feel good to play those type of games," Therrien said Monday after practice at Ice Sports Forum outside Tampa. "You look at our record the last two years when we had our back against the wall, it's almost like this is where we perform the best."

Desperation can do funny things to players, but the Habs didn't feel as though they deserved to be down 3-0 in this series. The Lightning blew them out in Game 2, but Game 1 was decided in overtime and Game 3 with 1.1 seconds left in regulation.

Aside from the 6-2 loss in Game 2, Montreal could argue it was the better team every other night. …

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