The Canadiens are working on their mental game as they prepare to face a desperate opponent in game four of the first round of the playoffs.

Only half of the Habs were on the ice Tuesday morning for a practice, and the team let only two players talk to reporters after the session.

Josh Gorges said his teammates know that the Lightning will be playing fast and furious in tonight's game.

"We're facing a desperate team, a team that's on their last leg and we know that and they're going to come out with everything that they have so we have to match that," said Gorges.

Throughout the regular season the Canadiens and the Lightning struggled, with the Tampa Bay team often pulling ahead with a hard-fought goal to win.

That led most fans and analysts to predict a 6- or 7-game series, but it seems the playoff experience of the Canadiens has become a deciding factor.

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About a dozen of the Tampa Bay players have never played in a playoff series before, and with multiple players injured, the Lightning coaches are not free to choose the roster they expected.

Daniel Briere said regardless, the Habs would fight hard.

"We have to approach this game as if it's game 7. You don't want to give them life, that's the worst thing we can do," said Briere.

Gorges agreed, saying the Canadiens cannot afford to coast.

"We have to have that killer instinct that mentality of 'win every battle," Gorges said.