Montreal's media swarm has arrived. It's a sign to the Lightning's young players that the game is about to change. Every shot, every shift, everything will be scrutinized.
For half of the Lightning, this is all new. They're on a different stage, but right now they don't seem fazed by it.
"We've got a little more media around I think that's kind of a big thing," said Tyler Johnson. "This is one of those things that we've been working hard for all season. It's something you've thought about your whole life growing up playing hockey. I'm just glad it starts tonight."
There are plenty of veterans on this team with playoff experience. Their advice to the young guys is to not talk too much about it.
"You can talk with them all you want, but until you experience it, it's kind of hard to describe," said Teddy Purcell. "It's going to be a fun first 10-minutes for those guys. I'm just going to tell them to enjoy it and to get ready for some good playoff hockey."
"After they get a few games under their belts, I think they'll have a pretty good idea of how intense it is and how fun it is just to be a part of it," said Ryan Callahan.
The Lightning can't afford for their young guys to get caught up in the atmosphere because the slightest mistake can be the difference between a win and a loss. The Lightning beat Montreal three times in their four games series this season -- all decided by one goal.
"We played these guys extremely tight all year," said Steven Stamkos. "I think every game has been one goal with the exception and empty netter so. We know that's are expectation heading in. It's going to be an extremely tight, low scoring game with the way the goaltenders have been playing. So we're expecting that."
To take off the edge, Jon Cooper wants to get all of his lines in early. Short shifts to get his Bolts settled in for what's expected to be the most competitive playoff series in the first round in the 'Quest for the Cup'.
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