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Despite 2-0 lead, Lightning not taking Canadiens lightly

Tue, 05 May 2015 18:22:01 +0000

Fitzgerald Cecilio - 4E Sports Reporter

Tampa, FL, United States (4E Sports) - Despite being up 2-0 over the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Second Round, the Tampa Bay Lightning are not taking the best-of-seven series lightly.

As the series shifts to Amalie Arena for Game 3 Wednesday, Tampa Bay forward Brian Boyle said it's not safe to think the Lightning have the Canadiens number.

"I wouldn't say that, I think we set out to win Game 1 we did that," Boyle said Monday. "Then we had an opportunity to leave Montreal up 2-0 and we had a couple of power-play opportunities that we took advantage of."

"As the series goes on we've got to expect they are going to up the ante a little bit and we have to match that," he added.

Both Boyle and Lightning coach Jon Cooper agreed that Tampa Bay's 7-0-0 record against the Canadiens since the start of the regular season is a meaningless stat heading into Wednesday.

Cooper said a statistic like that can get into the head of an opponent, but it should not keep the Lightning from focusing on the task at hand.

"I think every time one team had a dominance over another, it is human nature for that to come into your mind," Cooper said.

"I know that certain situations, like when we played Boston last year and early this year, we wondered how we were going to beat those guys. So far our matchups against Montreal have worked in our favor," he added.

Cooper and Boyle also welcomed the re-emergence of forward Steven Stamkos , who broke his 11-game goal-scoring drought in the second period Sunday on a breakaway goal against Canadiens goalie Carey Price.

Although Tampa Bay has proven it can win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs without Stamkos scoring goals, Boyle said as the games move forward it was important for the Lightning captain to play without that in the back of his head.

"[ Stamkos ] is going to be huge for us going forward, and if we want to continue to do damage in the playoffs he's going to lead the way," Boyle said.

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