Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was part of that 2010 team that rallied against the Caps. The key to recultivating that comeback recipe?
"It's no secret: You start doing the right things, you start getting rewarded for it, momentum builds, and you keep carrying that," Gionta said Monday. "Even a couple teams this year have been able to do that, the Kings and the Rangers. So, it's not something that can't be done -- and with the group we have in here, we believe we can do it."
Belief. It's a word thrown around a lot in these situations. It's at the heart of many clichéd answers. And yet it's what a coach looks for in the eyes of his players when his team is down this deep.
"A lot of it is just mental, it's believing, it's trusting in your teammates that you're going to do the job," Martin said. "But the key was really just living the moment and think about the opportunity that you had. You can't do anything about the outside. People talk about the pressure and all that, but once the game starts, you're in the moment and just appreciate the opportunity you have."
In that 2010 series against the Caps, Martin made a forward-line adjustment that sparked something in Game 5.
"I remember we were in Washington for Game 5 and I think that was the game where I started Travis Moen with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta," he said. "That was the first time I put them together and it kind of lifted our team. They had a good game."
This year's Canadiens, Martin feels, has better depth up front than that 2010 team.
"When I look at Montreal now, they've got four lines that can produce, really," Martin said. "When I watched their series against Boston, one of the strengths of the Bruins in the past was their fourth line and the ability to find a way to match their fourth line. Probably Montreal had a better fourth line than the Bruins this year, when they had [ Brandon] Prust , [ Danny] Briere and [ Dale] Weise on the fourth line."
Prust will sit out the second and final game of his suspension Tuesday night, so he's not an option. The Habs need more from their offensive weapons, including the much-maligned Thomas Vanek, who has looked lost.
More troubling, though, in Game 4 was that 39-goal scorer Max Pacioretty, who was terrific in Game 3, went without a single shot on goal Sunday night. The Habs need more, for sure, from the first-line left winger.
And did we mention the power play? Oy. The Habs are 1-for-17 with the man advantage in this series, pretty much one of the leading factors as to why they are down 3-1. Certainly the Rangers deserve credit for their work on the penalty-killing unit, but this is a Montreal team that should produce more in this area.
"I think in the Boston series, our power play got us through a lot of games, and was huge for us," Canadiens winger Rene Bourque said. "We obviously need that to carry over into this series. It has been tough so far but [Game 4] was a game where we needed it to come through. We had numerous opportunities to put that game away and the big goals early in the game didn't happen."
Play with the lead. Score on the power play. Beat Lundqvist. The checklist is ready. Now the Habs have to prove it's a list born out of reality, not fiction.