Price hopes to corral Bruins

Habs goalie Carey Price faces the Bruins in a pivotal Game 4 tonight in Montreal. (QMI Agency/Eric...

Habs goalie Carey Price faces the Bruins in a pivotal Game 4 tonight in Montreal. (QMI Agency/Eric Bolte)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:47 PM ET

MONTREAL -- As a rodeo participant, Carey Price probably knows about horsing around.

That was the expression the Montreal Canadiens goaltender used to describe his team's behaviour in the morning skate before Game 3 Monday which the Canadiens went out and lost to the Boston Bruins, allowing the B's back into the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

The Canadiens lead the series 2-1 going into tonight's Game 4 at the Bell Centre.

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said he was happier with what he saw from the players who participated in the morning skate today.

"I said we needed to have a better focus," said Martin about his team going into Game 3. "The key when you look at the series, the competition, the parity, the quality of the two teams, it's about learning each game as you move along.

"I feel we'll be ready tonight."

"Two-2 and 3-1 sound like two different stories," said Canadiens winger Mike Cammalleri, the Habs' leading scorer with a goal and three assists in the series. "But it does us no good to worry about the implications."

The Canadiens will likely get a boost with the return to the lineup of veteran forward Jeff Halpern, who missed the last four games of the regular season and the first two games of this series with a suspected knee injury. He should help the Habs in the faceoff circle. As the only right-handed centre, he should give the Canadiens more options on right-side faceoffs.

The Bruins are dominating the Canadiens in the faceoff circle so far, 55.6% against 44.4%.

"There's a pretty good chance Halpern is going in tonight," said Martin.

Halpern practised Wednesday on a line with rookie centre Lars Eller and winger Travis Moen, though he finished up the year playing with Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec.

Halpern has the top faceoff winning percentage on the Habs.

On the Bruins side, centre Chris Kelly was sporting a black eye and a swollen right cheek after colliding with the goal post in Game 3, but after leaving the Bruins in Lake Placid to be checked out by a specialist, he'll play tonight wearing a full cage.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said he'd like to see his team build on the improvement they showed in Game 3.

"We still feel we can play better and we hope that continues to happen," he said. "We got better last game, but we're still not satisfied."

Julien was in a good mood, compared to the tense guy he appeared to be during the series.

When asked about the club's trip to Lake Placid, the scene of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice," Julien replied, jokingly: "I saw a miracle. That's the word you're looking for."

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