TAMPA, Fla. — Coming off a 3-2 victory in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers, the Tampa Bay Lightning will look to get even in the series Tuesday in Game 4.
In Game 3, left wing Ondrej Palat scored and broke the tie heading into the final minute. The Lightning are now looking to capitalize on the newly-swung momentum in front of the home crowd in Game 4.
Lightning right wing Corey Perry, however, said his team can't rely purely on home ice advantage.
“You’re going to have to play the same way," Perry said during a Monday news conference. "You’re going to have to have — what did we have? 50-some shots. You know, you’re going to have to get pucks in the net.”
“You can see in these playoffs especially momentum hasn’t been a huge factor with a lot of teams," added Lightning forward Alex Killorn said. "But for us, it was the momentum of playing well. The first game was terrible. The second game we kind of found our legs. The third game we played a lot better so we are playing off that momentum. Not just the win."
As exciting as the win Sunday was, the celebration isn't going to last long.
“We still have to go out and perform, and it would be amateur of us to think because we snuck a game out at the end that, ‘Oh, we’re good,’” said Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper during the Monday news conference.
While Palat's game-winner was a big moment in the series for the Bolts, Cooper believes things started clicking for his team ahead of the Game 3 win.
“When did things start to click? They started to click for us halfway through the second period of Game 2, and we’ve now kept that going," he said. "We had to stop the Rangers’ roll, and hopefully, that goal with [42 seconds] put a little pin in their bubble. I suspect they are going to come out just as they always have in these playoffs, because they are a great team."
Even though Lightning center Brayden Point was on the ice with his teammates during a Monday practice, Cooper ruled him out for Game 4. He's still recovering from the lower-body injury he suffered in the first round series against the Maple Leafs.
Game 4 action starts at Amalie Arena at 8 p.m. Tuesday.