MONTREAL (AP) - Sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round of NHL playoffs means a long layoff for the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens finished a four-game sweep Tuesday night and may have a 10- or 11-day wait before starting their Eastern Conference semifinal against the winner of the Boston-Detroit series.
The first round is scheduled to end April 30, unless all series end in fewer than seven games.
Some wondered if the Canadiens' next series could start early if the Boston-Detroit series only goes five games, but an NHL spokesman said no.
Coach Michel Therrien gave his players Wednesday and Thursday off. They will resume skating Friday at their training facility in Brossard, Quebec.
There is a danger a team can get lax waiting for the next series, but Therrien sees a benefit in giving some players a chance to recover from injuries.
''We're going to take some time to heal,'' Therrien said. ''At this time of year guys are hurt and showed a lot of courage to play.''
The Canadiens should have forward Travis Moen back after missing the first round with a concussion. The club might also get forward Alex Galchenyuk back from a lower-body injury.
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