MONTREAL -- Typical NHL teams will often try to ramp up their games when they enter the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Ottawa Senators are not a typical team.
When the Senators face the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Bell Centre on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, TVA Sports), it will officially be their first playoff game of the season.
But in reality, the Senators have been playing playoff hockey for the better part of two months and their challenge is not to raise their game, but simply to maintain the nearly unprecedented high level they were already on.
"We put a tremendous amount of effort into making it here," Senators rookie forward Mark Stone said. "We know there's still a long road ahead of us. I think [coach Dave Cameron] is stressing to continue to play the same way, continue to do the same things. At the end of the day we're playing one of the top teams in the conference, but we're just trying to stick to our game."