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Canadiens vs. Lightning: Game Four — Thread, roster & lines

After the heart-break, there's still some life left.

Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Aldous Huxley - sci-fi writer and esoteric guru - speaks of a perennial ground which links all things in existence in many of his writings. With less than 24 hours to turn around and get back on the ice after a heart-breaking loss, the Montreal Canadiens will need to be in touch with that ground if they want to perform the miracle of getting back in this series. A "transition year" or not, the look of defeat after last night's game, and post-game comments coming out of the Canadiens' dressing room indicated that this is a team that wanted to win it all this year, despite their General Manager's admonitions that this is a stepping-stone year, and probably not the year.

The Montreal Canadiens have been down 0-3 in a playoff series 12 times in their history, swept 6 times, and have never come back to win a series in which they have gone down in the first 3 games. Athletes being eternal optimists, P.K. Subban was already looking forward to Game 4 in his post-game comments last night, saying it was a good thing there was so little time between games as they would have less time to think about the last-second loss.

Coming back from an 0-3 deficit is extremely improbable. But so many things in life, when actually examined are improbable, such as shuffling a deck of cards and ending up with the particular order of cards in your hand, (a 1 in 80658175170943878571660636856403766975289505440883277824000000000000 probability), or winning the lottery, or putting your hat in the ring for any particular competition where there can only be one winner. In sports, there is talent, competitiveness, reffing, coaching decisions, mental lapses, injury... and so many other factors that go into creating the circumstances for the winner to emerge, which is what makes sport such an entertaining event.

The margin of error in NHL playoff hockey is microscopic ("micro-margin"), as thus, the margin of victory is often the cause of small differences. The Canadiens are not done. Not yet. The odds are stacked - intensely- against them. The sight of overcoming an 0-3 deficit in this series is very hard to conjure for even the most imaginative Habs' fans... but the object must be simplified: one game, one period, one shift at a time. Keep on fighting until the end, forget the odds, and just play - there's really nothing left to lose.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST. No lineup changes tonight for the HabsFor the Lightning, Brenden Morrow is out to make room for Cedric Paquette's return after missing game 3.

In Canada (English): CBC
In Canada (French):  TVA Sports
In the United States: NBCSN
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter Live

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk David Desharnais Dale Weise
Brandon Prust Lars Eller P.A. Parenteau
Jacob de la Rose Torrey Mitchell Devante Smith-Pelly
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin Jeff Petry
Tom Gilbert Greg Pateryn
Carey Price
Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Mike Weaver, Manny Malholtra,  Sergei Gonchar, Brian Flynn
Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Alex Killorn Steven Stamkos Ryan Callahan
Ondrej Palat Tyler Johnson Nikita Kucherov
Cedric Paquette Valterri Filppula J.T. Brown
Jonathan Drouin Brian Boyle Vladislav Namestnikov
Left Defense
Right Defense
Victor Hedman Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison Braydon Coburn
Matthew Carle Andrej Sustr
Ben Bishop
Andrei Vasilevski

Scratched: Mark Barberio, Nikita Nesterov, Brenden Morrow
Injuries: Mattias Ohlund (knee)

Check out the enemy over at Raw Charge.