By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published May 10, 2009 at 4:12 PM

 The Admirals know what they're up against.

Down three games to two in their best-of-seven playoff series with the Houston Aeros, they know their backs are up against the wall. But with the sixth – and hopefully, a seventh – game back at the Bradley Center, head coach Lane Lambert hopes the momentum from Saturday night's victory can carry over to the 7 p.m. faceoff Monday night.

"The slate is clean and we have to come and gain momentum as the game progresses," Lambert says. "Thats the only way you can look at it. They're ahead in the series and we're fighting from behind."

They haven't played poorly in the series – goaltender Drew MacIntyre has allowed eight goals in the series, but only five in the first four contests. The offense, however, was stymied by Houston's Anton Khudobin, who was rock-solid between the pipes, stopping 122 of Milwaukee's 132 shots while playing all but 37 minutes and 25 seconds of the first five games and recorded 27 saves in a 2-0 Houston shutout in Game 4.

"We've played well in the series," Lambert says. "In the two games we lost down here, we've out-shot them, 2-1, basically but we just weren't getting rewarded for it. Their goaltender has been playing real well and sometimes that happens. That's hockey."

The Admirals finally got to Khudobin Saturday night in Game 5. Facing possible elimination, Milwaukee -– buoyed by a pair of goals from Bryan Smolinski -– rallied from a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals and won, 4-3, to force a return to the Bradley Center for Game 6 Monday night.

Setting the tone with physical play on both ends of the ice, the Admirals were able to put some pressure on Khudobin and the Houston defense. Milwaukee attempted 19 shots in the second period and was able to clamp down in the final period, when the Aeros outshot Milwaukee, 14-9.

"I thought we stuck to our game plan throughout the game," Lambert says. "We've done a good job all series of sticking to the game plan. I just thought we played real desperate, real physical. We put a lot of pressure on them in their zone and that's what we're going to have to continue to do."

Lambert hopes the good habits his team exhibited in Game 5 carries over to Game 6.

If they hope to even the series, the Admirals will need to step up their game on the power play. Milwaukee has just one power play goal in 18 opportunities (5 percent) in the series while the Aeros have converted six of 23 chances (26 percent). All three of Houston's goals in Game 5 came with the advantage.

Limiting penalty minutes, a point stressed by Lambert down the final weeks of the regular season, would go a long way in helping Milwaukee's cause. The Admirals have been penalized 30 times for 62 minutes through the first five games, compared to just 24 infractions and 51 minutes in the box for Houston.

"There's certainly improvement (been) in some areas," Lambert says. "But there's always room for improvement no matter what time of the year you're in. You're always searching for the perfecting game.

"We pretty much have to play perfect games here based on the fact that our backs are against the wall."

Facing elimination, Lambert isn't worried about his players trying to accomplish too much too quickly; the proverbial case of trying to win two games in one night. Focusing on the task at hand, he says, is the key.

"We're smart enough to realize we're in a big hole here," he says. "We're smart enough to realize that we're down and we have to take it one game at a time and that's exactly what we did last night. You can't look ahead to anything but what's facing you and that's our game tomorrow night. I'm confident our group knows we have to take it one game at a a time and one shift at a time.

"We'll be prepared to play."