Lightning To East Finals

Apr 29, 2004

2004 Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning swept their way to the Eastern Conference finals with a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

"I think as you go through trying to get 16 wins to win a Stanley Cup, you need to have some time to heal," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "To get a series done four straight is certainly going to help us because we have some guys banged up."

"We're just going to watch those other teams battle it out," Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle said. "Hopefully they can go to seven games and we'll be a little bit fresher for the next series."

Brad Richards scored his second straight winning goal and Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 27 shots for Tampa Bay.

"I didn't expect a sweep. It's incredible," Richards said. "Things happened so fast in this series. I thought we'd have a long series, but we were able to get key goals at key times."

"We did the best we could in the last two games," Montreal goalie Jose Theodore said. "We had a great run, but it's frustrating. But this is a building process for the future."

"It is a very empty feeling right now," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. "To play for so long, go through so much, and then all of a sudden the season is done and there's no tomorrow for us."

Red Wings Even Series
The Detroit Red Wings beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 to even the Western Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

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