TAMPA, Fla. -- The Montreal Canadiens want to eliminate turnovers and create traffic in front of the net.
They hope to parlay that approach in a victory that would even
their Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday against the Tampa
The Canadiens addressed both tactics at practice Saturday, hours
after losing 4-0 in Game 1.
"We didn't execute what we were supposed to execute," Montreal
coach Claude Julien said. "That's why we didn't play well.
"The team we're playing against, they force you into making
mistakes. They're good at it. When you do turn the puck over,
they've got the type of team that can make you pay for it."
"We came out real flat," Montreal defenseman Craig Rivet said.
"It seems like we were one step behind them. We'll put that one
behind us, no big deal. We're looking to be a better team for next
game and I think that we will be."
The Canadiens also need to find a way to score on goalie Nikolai
Khabibulin, 5-1 in the postseason with four shutouts. Blocking his
view on shots and deflections could be a key.
"When you don't score any goals, you've got to come up with
something," Montreal captain Saku Koivu said. "He's seeing the
puck well right now, but that's the challenge that we have. We have
to find a way."
The Lightning plan to continue playing their aggressive style,
which propelled them to the Eastern Conference's best record.
"I think we need to keep playing our game," Tampa Bay
defenseman Dan Boyle said.
Montreal played poorly in dropping a 3-0 decision to Boston in
Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The Canadiens
fell behind three games to one before winning the final three games
of that series.
Sunday's game is not a must-win situation, but the Canadiens
understand its importance.
"We've been there, but you don't want to get down by two
games," Koivu said. "We know we didn't play well in the first
game and didn't have the intensity where we have to be. I don't
think we were anywhere near where we can be or where we have to be
to win some of these games."
Tampa Bay anticipates a tough test in Game 2.
"They responded well in that Boston series," St. Louis said.
"I know they are definitely bringing their best. We have to match
that and more."
The series shifts to Montreal for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and
"Our guys understand this is a series," Tampa Bay coach John
Tortorella said. "It's a long series."