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Bartlett: Habs fourth line makes up for PP struggles

John Bartlett
4/17/2014 3:37:58 PM
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Following their overtime victory in Game 1 last night, the Canadiens were back on the ice Thursday in Tampa, with the main focus of practice once again on special teams, as the team tries to crack an 0-for-25 power play slump over the past nine games, and 0-for-16 against the Lightning this season.

Despite the lack of success with the man advantage, Montreal holds the series lead thanks in much part to the work of the fourth line, which features rookie Michael Bournival, grinder Dale Weise and playoff veteran Daniel Briere. That was the line which generated the game winning goal last night. It was a play where Weise still admits his eyes opened up when he saw the pass coming from Briere.

The assist on the goal gives Briere 110 career playoff points, which ranks him third in career post-season points among players in this year's playoffs; Marian Hossa has 113, while Henrik Zetterberg leads the way with 114.

In a fun side note, Briere had an on-going battle all night with Lightning forward Cederic Paquette, who played junior hockey with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, a team in which Briere has a stake in ownership.

All four lines got in on the scoring for Montreal last night with goals from Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta, Thomas Vanek, Lars Eller and Weise.

For Gionta, it marked his third career shorthanded playoff goal. He last scored shorthanded for the Devils in the 2006 playoffs. The Habs captain has 32 career playoff goals in 96 games.

Eller recorded his first playoff goal and his second marker over his past three games.

Michel Therrien moved into a tie for 58th all-time with Terry Crisp, Al MacNeil and Harry Sinden for playoff games coached, while tying Mike Milbury at 58th for all-time playoff wins with his 23.

Travis Moen practiced with the team for the second time this week, but will not play in Game 2.

The Canadiens aren't expected to make any line-up changes for tomorrow night.

Game 2 of the Canadiens-Lightning can be heard Live on TSN 690 Montreal, TSN 1050 Toronto, TSN 1200 Ottawa, TSN 1290 Winnipeg and Team 1410 Vancouver at 7pm ET/4pm PT.

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