Loss a real shocker

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 1:52 PM ET


 The Montreal Canadiens were not only disappointed, they were shocked.

 They found it hard to believe that they had played so well, yet still lost 4-3 in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night.

 "It wasn't just one or two periods," said defenceman Craig Rivet. "We played three solid periods, and to end up with the loss is a tough way to lose."

 Canadiens captain Saku Koivu was of the same mind.

 "You can play your best and you don't always get the result," he said.

 'GOOD THINGS'

 "I thought we did a lot of good things and we're improving from Game 1 to Game 2 to Game 3.

 "Obviously, momentum and confidence are on their side right now. For us, from now to the end, it's must-win, so let's just see how far we can go."

 Naturally enough, the Canadiens refuse to accept defeat, even though they trail 3-0 in the best-of-seven semi-final series.

 "I'm not going to sit here and say it's going to be the easiest thing to win four games in a row," Rivet said. "But we feel that if we continue to play the way we played (last night) we certainly have a chance."

 "We've played too many games to come here and just quit," Koivu said. "That's not the way this team reacts."

 As Alexei Kovalev pointed out, the Canadiens simply have to accept their situation.

 "There's not much we can do right now except relax," he said. "Nobody gave up when we were down 3-1 (against Boston), so at 3-0 we can still turn things around."


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