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Round 1, Game #1 ~ Senators @ Canadiens. Thursday, May 2nd, 2013.


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SENATORS (25-17-6) at CANADIENS (29-14-5)

Last 10: Ottawa 6-4-0; Montreal 4-6-0

Season series: The teams split the season series with each team winning twice, once each after regulation. The Ottawa Senators outscored the Montreal Canadiens 11-8 in the four games.

Big story: The focal point of the series will be the matchup of premier offensive defensemen Erik Karlsson of the Senators and P.K. Subban of the Canadiens, but really this series will boil down to Montreal’s late-season defensive struggles against Ottawa’s season-long offensive woes. Whichever team solves their problem first will come at the expense of the opposing team’s problem, and will likely make the difference in the series.

Team Scope:

Ottawa: In spite of the fact they have a healthy Karlsson on the blue line and a healthy Craig Anderson in goal, coach Paul MacLean and his players have been letting everyone know they are the underdogs in this series, and that the pressure is on the Canadiens.

Posturing? Certainly.

But the Senators also appear to truly believe that they are playing with house money and will be the looser bunch in this series.

“I think the pressure might be a little bit more on these guys that we’re playing against, just being at home and they had a great season,” defenseman Marc Methot said Wednesday. “We’re the underdogs, we know that. That just allows us to go out there and play. We have nothing to lose.”

The Senators will have Chris Phillips and Milan Michalek in the lineup after both were given a day off from practice Tuesday for some maintenance, and it looks as though Patrick Wiercioch will be scratched on defense while Eric Gryba plays.

Canadiens: As a counterpoint to MacLean’s assertion Tuesday that all the pressure was on the Canadiens, coach Michel Therrien gave his own view of things Wednesday.

In discussing what he told his five players who will be making their Stanley Cup Playoff debuts on Thursday – Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Raphael Diaz, Max Pacioretty and Jarred Tinordi – Therrien gave his philosophical outlook on the word “pressure.”

“Like I told them, don’t feel the pressure, put the pressure,” Therrien said. “Establish the pressure on the other team. That’s the way we have to deal with the pressure.”

If things don’t change before game time, Therrien is expected to scratch Colby Armstrong and Jeff Halpern whileTravis Moen and Ryan White – two players who have a more physical role – will be on Therrien’s fourth line with Brandon Prust.

Who's hot: For the Canadiens, center Lars Eller had 13 points in his final 12 games, and his rookie linemate Galchenyuk had 12 points in his last 13 games. … For the Senators, Kyle Turris finished the season with two goals and an assist in his final two games, and Karlsson had four assists and played a minimum of 27 minutes in each of his three games since his return from injury.

Injury report: The Canadiens are missing defenseman Alexei Emelin (knee). … The Senators are without center Jason Spezza (back).

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Quote from: Staying the course
Aaand once again,
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lov the tread,its a winner....LETS GO KOOL-AID

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I'm a bit concerned, if only because the Sens (indeed most, of not all, of the visitors in matchu-ups) would like nothing better than to go home with home ice advantage. The Sens will bring their A+ game tonight, and we have to be ready, and take it to them from the get-go, and not let up.

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habs better be ready for the sens tonight or it'll turn sour fairly quickly.

Sometimes in the first round home ice can go against you. While the home team is caught up in Playoff fever, the visting team has one thing on their minds... Winning!

And the difference in attitudes can take the home team by surprise.

habs in the past have been known to get caught up in the fan fair and lose focus.

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I suspect the first period will be a huge test for Carey. If he can weather the storm & we can come out either tied, or better still, leading, I think it sets the tone for the game & indeed the series.

We need to play hard, use our greatest strengths (speed & depth) and we will be ok.

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I suspect the first period will be a huge test for Carey. If he can weather the storm & we can come out either tied, or better still, leading, I think it sets the tone for the game & indeed the series.

We need to play hard, use our greatest strengths (speed & depth) and we will be ok.

Agreed, Jed, but your post made me realize that I had forgotten one of the best parts of Habs playoff hockey: your signatures :lol:

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Outstanding Gameday thread Clues :D and a very good assessment on your behalf. I don't spend much time posting here but do read comments often enough. I'm proud to be a Habs Fan and thankful for the dedication these threads show us all.

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Can we score the first goddang goal tonight? It sure would be nice to play with a lead from the get-go. Also more likely to be effective against a defense-first team like the Senators who are built to play with the lead, not come from behind...

That, and also I have to head out for a bit after the first period and I'd like to leave with the Habs in the lead. Come on Habs, do it for me! :P

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Agreed, Jed, but your post made me realize that I had forgotten one of the best parts of Habs playoff hockey: your signatures :lol:

:)

This year we are starting with a Lord of the Rings theme because Anderson reminds me of a giant Gollum.

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great job, Clues..thank you...

just created my new facebook-header for the playoffs, share if you like...

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Beautiful cover. May need to steal it although I am using a few pics already (bouillion with torch, then probably chuckies first goal)

:)

This year we are starting with a Lord of the Rings theme because Anderson reminds me of a giant Gollum.

I love your playoff sigs.

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