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Bruins relaxed entering Game Four; Look to even series with Habs

LAKE PLACID -- Boston Bruins winger Mark Recchi has pretty much seen it all in his long NHL career and knows firsthand that anything's possible in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Lose the first two games of a series at home and come back to win? Been there, done that. Win the first two games on the road and lose the next four? Been there, done that, too.

The victim both times? The Montreal Canadiens, and Recchi hopes the trend continues. The Habs beat the Bruins twice on the road to open their current series before falling, 4-2, Monday night at home in the Bell Centre. Game Four is tonight in Montreal (7 p.m., Versus, Ch. 5.).

"If we win [today], maybe we'll see some similarities," Recchi said. "It's still a long road ahead."

Recchi was with Carolina five years ago when the Hurricanes dropped their first two games at home to Montreal and rallied to win four straight (three in Montreal), their springboard to winning the Stanley Cup. And he was on the Canadiens in 1996 when the Habs won the first two games against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden and then lost the next four.

"I've been through both sides, but at this point it's more talking about what we're going to have to do to get back in the series," said Recchi, who has three assists in the series. "But there's obviously some thought about what they're thinking. Obviously, it's an important game for them [today] -- they've got to be thinking that way -- and it's an important one for us."

Bruins coach Claude Julien put the team through a brisk 75-minute practice late Wednesday morning at the conclusion of a two-day respite in this Olympic village, and something they desperately need to do is improve the power play. Boston is 0 for 11 with the extra man in the tight series as Montreal has neutralized the hard shots the Bruins like to take from the point. The Canadiens are struggling, too, with only one goal in 11 power-play chances.

"We need to get this thing going, and, hopefully, better," Julien said. "But you also understand that in the playoffs, PKs [penalty-killers] seem to be trumping the power plays. We've done a pretty good job against Montreal. When you play a team over and over again, you find out the tendencies, so it's a little better than playing just one game and moving on to the next team during the regular season."

Julien didn't pinpoint one aspect of the Boston power play that was of concern.

"We have to get the puck moving, get the puck down low and outnumber them in front of the net," defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said.

The Canadiens played superbly in the first two games, then lost their composure Monday night as the Bruins built a 3-0 lead and barely held on.


'Hawks have long road

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Chicago Blackhawks got back into their first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks with a blowout victory in Game Four.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks' chances of continuing the comeback in Game Five in Vancouver tonight (10 p.m., Ch. 5, Versus), and going on to become just the fourth team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit might depend on whether they got back inside the Canucks' heads as well.

"There's still really no pressure on us," Chicago forward Patrick Kane said before the team flew to Vancouver.

Vancouver players were downplaying that pressure.

"Who thought we would win every game? No one," Mikael Samuelsson said.


Kings looking ahead

LOS ANGELES -- As bad as it was to become just the fourth team to squander a four-goal lead and lose a playoff game in NHL history, the Los Angeles Kings know dwelling on the collapse will only make it worse.

So the task on Wednesday for the Kings was putting the 6-5 overtime loss to San Jose in Game Three in the past and turning their focus to Game Four tonight when they hope to rebound and tie the series at two games apiece.

"I put it behind me probably 20 minutes after they scored," forward Jarret Stoll said. "It's a devastating loss, but you can't dwell on it. We had a good day of practice, guys were smiling and we were snapping around out there."

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