BRANDON, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning were mad as hell, and coach Jon Cooper could tell.

The team had lost its second straight game in its Eastern Conference semifinal against Montreal, a series the Lightning once led 3-0.

“There was a genuine pissed-off attitude that we lost Game 5,” Cooper said. “Guys were angry and it’s carried over, so I like our mojo. I want to be an angry team.”

The Canadiens, meanwhile, were a relaxed, energized group going into Game 6 Tuesday night at Amalie Arena. Now there’s a spring in the Habs’ stride after cutting Tampa Bay’s series lead to 3-2.

“I see a team really excited, I see a team full of energy,” coach Michel Therrien said Monday. “I think the excitement brings that energy to our team. I feel a team that can’t wait to play tomorrow.”

The grind of the playoffs hasn’t gotten to the Habs, and falling behind 3-0 to Tampa Bay has only seemed to force them to find another level in their game.

That’s nothing new: Montreal is 5-1 dating to last year’s playoffs in elimination games. The one loss came when Carey Price was injured and replaced by Dustin Tokarski in the decisive Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers.

“We feel good to play those type of games,” Therrien said Monday after practice at Ice Sports Forum outside Tampa. “You look at our record the last two years when we had our back against the wall, it’s almost like this is where we perform the best.”

Desperation can do funny things to players, but the Habs didn’t feel as though they deserved to be down 3-0 in this series. The Lightning blew them out in Game 2, but Game 1 was decided in overtime and Game 3 with 1.1 seconds left in regulation.

Aside from the 6-2 loss in Game 2, Montreal could argue it was the better team every other night. The Habs have out-shot the Lightning 173-127 for an average of almost 10 a game.

Therrien said his team has gotten more five-on-five scoring chances but pointed to limiting turnovers for the turnaround in the series. Forward Max Pacioretty knows that trend must continue or the season won’t.

“One bad shift and we’re out of this series,” Pacioretty said. “It’s great to have the energy, it’s great to have some momentum and some confidence, but at the end of the day we make one mistake and our season’s over. So we’ve got to make sure we stay focused and have the right mentality.”

The Habs don’t have to think back too far to prepare for Tuesday night. After taking a 3-0 lead on the Ottawa Senators in the first round, they lost the next two before Price stopped all 43 shots he faced to seal a victory in Game 6 on the road.

So even though Therrien believes the longer a series goes from 3-0 the more pressure goes on the team that took that lead, the Habs don’t believe all the pressure is on the Lightning.

“Last series I’m sure Ottawa felt pressure too going into Game 6,” forward Torrey Mitchell said. “We feel pressure, too. Everyone thinks just because we won two games and it was 3-0 and history’s against us that all the pressure’s on them.”

Only four teams in NHL playoff history have come back to win after trailing a series 3-0, and until now no Canadiens team had even forced a Game 6 when facing that deficit.

Now the Habs have the chance to take it one step further.

“You can’t change the past, but we could control what’s going to happen tomorrow night,” Therrien said.

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Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press