MONTREAL - Not that you expected anything different, but the Canadiens have no plans to fold up in Tuesday night's Game 5 with the Rangers holding a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
"I think we played our best game of the series [in Game 4], so it's just one game at a time,'' wing Rene Bourque told reporters after the team's practice at its facility in nearby Brossard. "We're at home. We've got to come out good and get this game and take the next one after that, but it starts [with] the first period and having a good start.''
About those good starts -- the Canadiens have trailed after the first period in each of the first four games and have led for exactly 2:50 in this series (17 seconds in Game 2 and 2:33 in the closing minutes of Game 3).
If Montreal is to feel good about beginning a comeback from 3-1 down, something the Canadiens have done twice in their illustrious history, a good start is certainly a good place to start.
"Yeah, [in] prior series against Tampa Bay and the Bruins, we were the team scoring the first goal and it gave us a lot of momentum and confidence,'' coach Michel Therrien said. "Obviously in this series, it doesn't happen. But we did not try to change our game plan. We want to score that first goal, and we know it's important. It gives confidence to teams, so we've got to be ready.''
A couple of players still on the team were part of Montreal's rally from 3-1 down to defeat the Capitals in the opening round in 2010, even though history doesn't mean much at this point.
"Well, the guys that were here, you know, you remember the situation and you remember the feelings that you had,'' said captain Brian Gionta, one of the holdovers from 2010. "At no point in that series did we feel we were out of it, and the same holds true now. We believe in the team that's in here and we believe we can win this series.''
Notes & quotes:Goalie Carey Price (knee) skated on his own before practice but without his goaltending equipment. Therrien reiterated that Price will not return in this series.