Published May 03, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - With their season on the line, the Montreal Canadiens offense came alive.
The Habs will try to carry the scoring surge into Game 5 when they try to stave off elimination again in Saturday's battle against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Canadiens and Lightning are back at it for the third time in four days. Tampa earned a 2-1 win on Wednesday to grab a 3-0 edge in the best-of-seven set, but Montreal earned its first win of this Eastern Conference semifinal with a 6-2 rout the following night.
Montreal hopes to stay alive tonight on home ice, where it is just 2-3 in this postseason. The Bolts, meanwhile, are 4-1 as the guest in the playoffs and have won four straight away tests since dropping Game 3 of their opening-round series against Detroit.
"(The fourth win) is definitely the hardest win to get," said Lightning forward Ryan Callahan. "The other team is very desperate. Their season's on the line, and it's key to match that desperation and make sure you come ready to play."
Max Pacioretty led the offensive explosion on Thursday, posting a goal and two assists to spark the rout in Tampa. Prior to the six-goal outburst, the Canadiens only had managed a total of 16 goals over their first nine games of the postseason.
Six different players scored goals for the Habs, who also received two assists each from Alex Galchenyuk and P.K. Subban. Montreal also outshot the Lightning by a 40-24 margin.
"I'm very proud of my players. They were finally rewarded for their hard work," said Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.
Carey Price made 22 saves to record the victory and both of Tampa's goals came on the power play.
Although the Canadiens were able to extend the series, they still have a daunting task ahead of them to win this series. Montreal must win three more games to become only the fifth team in NHL history to rally from a 0-3 series deficit. The 1942 Maple Leafs, 1975 Islanders, 2010 Flyers and last season's Kings all pulled off the ultimate playoff comeback.
If Montreal wins tonight the clubs will meet back in Tampa for Game 6 on Tuesday.
Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop hopes to rebound from a rough outing after getting pulled five minutes into the second period. Bishop allowed three goals on 14 shots, while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 23-of-26 shots.
Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning, who had outscored the Canadiens 30-13 in winning the first eight meetings between the clubs in 2014-15. Thursday's setback marked Tampa's first loss against the Habs since Montreal polished off a four-game sweep of the Bolts in the opening round of last spring's playoffs.
"We just need to regroup," Palat said. "The pressure is on them. We are still up 3-1. If you told me before the series we would be up 3-1 I would take it."
This is the third postseason meeting between the Bolts and Canadiens and it will be the first one that won't be decided in a sweep. The Lightning swept Montreal in the 2004 conference semifinals before the Habs returned the favor in 2014.