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Canadiens vs Senators

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 2:32 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Canadiens' Price out for remainder of series

MONTREAL -- Peter Budaj's first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs will determine whether or not the Montreal Canadiens get to continue their season.

No pressure.

The Canadiens announced Thursday that starting goaltender Carey Price will miss the remainder of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators with a lower-body injury, thrusting Budaj into the spotlight.

At age 30, Budaj will start a playoff game for the first time in his eight-season NHL career with no room for error. His team is down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series heading into Game 5 Thursday at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, CNBC), and his goal simply will be to get the Canadiens to a Game 6 in Ottawa on Saturday.

"I believe our players play hard in front of Carey, and I believe it's the same thing in front of Peter," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "I think the guys respect him a lot and they compete in front of him. That goes both ways, Peter is working really hard for his teammates."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 11:45 AM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Subban: 'We can beat these guys. We're better'

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Despite being on the brink of elimination, P.K. Subban is convinced the Montreal Canadiens are better than the Ottawa Senators.

The Canadiens defenseman said Wednesday he was eager to play Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS) with Montreal trailing 3-1 and needing a win to extend its season.

"We still have a pulse right now, we're still alive and [Game 5] is the biggest game of the season. We need to be ready to play," Subban said. "Quite frankly, I want to beat these guys. We have another opportunity [Thursday] to play and we can beat these guys. We're better."

The Canadiens certainly will have the odds stacked against them in Game 5.

Captain Brian Gionta and forwards Brandon Prust and Ryan White were ruled out for the game Wednesday, and early Thursday the announced goaltender Carey Price would miss the remainder of the series with a lower-body injury after he was hurt near the end of regulation the team's 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 in Ottawa.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 3:53 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Senators to have full lineup available for Game 5

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators held an optional skate Wednesday before departing for Montreal. The Senators lead the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, with Game 5 set for Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).

Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek did not participate in the practice, but coach Paul MacLean said that all players who played in Game 4 would be available for Game 5.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 2:59 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Gionta's season over; Price day-to-day

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta will undergo season-ending surgery Friday to repair a torn left biceps muscle, the team announced Wednesday.

In addition, the Canadiens announced that forwards Ryan White and Brandon Prust each have an upper-body injury and will miss Game 5 of the team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).

Goaltender Carey Price, who sat out overtime in Game 4 on Tuesday, is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated Thursday.

Price appeared to sustain his injury in the final seconds of regulation in Game 4. He made 30 saves, but when he reached for a high shot, he fell forward and stayed down for a moment. He was able to skate off under his own power, but when overtime began, Peter Budaj was in net.

This is the second year in a row Gionta has torn his biceps muscle; he underwent surgery Jan 11, 2012 to fix a torn right biceps muscle.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Gionta took the latest injury news very hard.

"When he heard the news," Therrien said, "our captain was crying in my arms."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 8:31 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Gryba glad to be making return to lineup

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba returned to the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens (CNBC, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 8:29 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Upper-body injuries sideline Gionta, White

OTTAWA -- Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta and center Ryan White are out of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (CNBC, CBC, RDS) with upper-body injuries.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 5:10 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Subban's growth as teammate leads to individual nod

OTTAWA -- P.K. Subban came off the ice late, as he often does, after the Montreal Canadiens held their morning skate Tuesday to prepare for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, CNBC), which Ottawa leads 2-1.

It had been about two hours since it was announced that Subban was one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best all-round defenseman.

The Canadiens dressing room was packed with reporters, all of whom were informed that Subban did not want to address his Norris Trophy nomination because he wanted the focus to be on the team and not on him.

But some tried to get a word with him regardless.

"Sorry," Subban said as he rushed to get his equipment off, "got to get ready for the game, guys."

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:05 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Senators won't have Wiercioch in lineup for Game 4

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 3, will be unavailable for the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS), coach Paul MacLean said following an optional skate Monday.

The Senators lead the Canadiens 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series following a 6-1 victory Sunday night.

Goaltender Robin Lehner took part in Monday's skate, as well as Guillaume Latendresse, Matt Kassian, Peter Regin, Jim O'Brien, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Andre Benoit, Mike Lundin and Eric Gryba.

Gryba will be eligible to play Tuesday after serving a two-game suspension for a hit on Lars Eller in the series opener.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Eller visits with Canadiens prior to trip to Ottawa

OTTAWA – The Montreal Canadiens got a surprise visit before traveling to Ottawa for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Senators (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, NBCSN) on Sunday night.

Injured center Lars Eller went to the Canadiens suburban practice facility before the team got on the bus for the short ride to Ottawa, and coach Michel Therrien said it did everyone some good to see him.

"It was just nice to see him," Therrien said. "You can tell our guys care about him, he's such a good kid. It's nice that we know, first of all, that he's out of the hospital, and it was nice to see that he was capable to come to the rink."

Eller is recovering from a concussion and facial fractures from a hit he took in Game 1 from Senators defenseman Eric Gryba, who will serve the final game of his two-game suspension levied by the NHL for the hit by sitting out Game 3.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 12:13 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

MacLean insists all players are available

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Senators held a morning skate prior to their Game 3 matchup with the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place Sunday night (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).

Captain Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Colin Greening did not participate, but coach Paul MacLean insisted that all players would be made available if needed.

Left wing Cory Conacher could step in for Guillaume Latendresse, while Patrick Wiercioch may replace Andre Benoit on defense. Here's how the lines might look for Sunday:

Milan MichalekKyle TurrisDaniel Alfredsson

Colin GreeningMika ZibanejadJakob Silfverberg

Matt KassianZack SmithChris Neil

Cory ConacherJean-Gabriel PageauErik Condra

Marc MethotErik Karlsson

Chris PhillipsSergei Gonchar

Patrick WierciochAndre Benoit

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Injured: Jason Spezza, Mike Hoffman

Scratches: Mike Lundin, Peter Regin, Jim O'Brien, Guillaume Latendresse, Andre Benoit, Mark Stone

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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 11:59 AM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Power-play woes continue to confound Senators

OTTAWA – An anemic power play has been a thorn in the side of the Ottawa Senators for some time. Now, as the Senators to prepare to face the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series Saturday night (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS), the team and its coach were forced to address the issue yet again. .

"It's no secret; we're going to try and get shots and bodies in front," team captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We've had a couple of good looks on and off, but it hasn't been consistent and I believe, especially on the road, it's even more important to have the power play give you a spark. [In Game 2] we had our chances right before the [Canadiens] scored in the second period, and if we had scored there, it could have been the difference in the game."

But that spark never came, leading to more of the same for the Senators this season. During the final eight regular-season games, Ottawa went 2-for-29 on the man advantage -- the Senators were 25-for-157 for the season, leaving it tied with the New Jersey Devils for 20th in the League with a 15.9 percentage rating.

Through two postseason games, the Senators have had nine shots during six power plays. The penalty kill of the Canadiens finished No. 23, in the regular season, with zero shorthanded goals. However, in addition to the lack of power-play success, Ottawa has also faced seven shorthanded shots from Montreal so far in the series. When coach Paul MacLean was confronted with the opinion that his power play has been "horrific", MacLean was forced to agree.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 3:02 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

MacLean responds: 'I might be husky, but I'm not fat'

OTTAWA -- In what was easily Paul MacLean's most entertaining press conference since he became the coach of the Ottawa Senators, MacLean addressed the status of Jason Spezza, his line combinations and recent comments by Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust after Ottawa's optional practice Saturday afternoon.

The Senators square off against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series Sunday at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).

MacLean said Spezza, who has been recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disc sustained on Jan. 27, took a "public skate" Saturday morning but is no closer to entering the lineup.

Kyle Turris, who has been serving as the Senators' first-line center since Spezza's injury, has been moved around several times in the postseason lineup. In Game 2, Jean-Gabriel Pageau saw time on the top line, leading some media to wonder if MacLean was unhappy with Turris' performance.

"Kyle's had a tremendous season, and he's played hard in the playoffs," MacLean said. "A lot of times, when we move him around, it's to get a different look for him and against a different set of defensemen. If they're playing their best guys against them, maybe we put him against their next-best guys. Those are the types of things we’re doing to generate offense."

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Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 7:20 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Pacioretty, Gionta out of Game 2 for Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens, already missing center Lars Eller, are without top forwards Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta due to upper-body injuries Friday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).

Pacioretty, who led the team in scoring in the regular season with 39 points, was a plus-1 with four shots on goal in 19:59 of ice time in the Canadiens' 4-2 loss in Game 1 Thursday.

Gionta, the Canadiens' captain, was a minus-2 with two shots on goal in 16:09 of ice time in Game 1.

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Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 5:27 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Canadiens' Eller released from hospital

The Montreal Canadiens announced Friday that center Lars Eller has been released from the hospital.

Eller was removed from the ice on a stretcher during the second period of Game 1 of the Canadiens' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators after he was hit by Ottawa's Eric Gryba.

The team announced Thursday that Eller had been hospitalized after sustaining a concussion, facial fractures, loss of consciousness and had teeth knocked out after the hit and falling face-first to the ice.

Gryba was assessed a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct for the hit, and has been suspended for two games by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

MacLean switches Senators' defense pairings

MONTREAL -- Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean made a minor tweak to his defense pairings Thursday in advance of Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).

MacLean decided to put together veterans Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips, while Jared Cowen and Eric Gryba will form another pairing, leaving the top duo of Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot intact.

"I don't think it's going to [change] much because we've been doing it through the season," Gonchar said. "It's not like it's the first time going into the playoffs. It's not a new thing for us."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 5:51 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Phillips, Michalek to play Game 1 for Senators

MONTREAL -- The Ottawa Senators will have veterans Chris Phillips and Milan Michalek in the lineup when they take on the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, coach Paul MacLean said after practice Wednesday.

Phillips left the final game of the regular season against the Boston Bruins on Sunday with what general manager Bryan Murray later called a tweaked knee. He and Michalek were given the day off from practice Tuesday but were on the ice Wednesday and will be in uniform when the Senators start their series against the Canadiens on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, CNBC).

“They’re all green-lighted,” MacLean said.

For the Canadiens, coach Michel Therrien has decided to scratch veterans Jeff Halpern and Colby Armstrong, barring any last-minute changes. Montreal's fourth line will consist of Ryan White at center with Travis Moen and Brandon Prust on the wings.

Here are the lines and defense pairings from Wednesday’s practices:

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 4:15 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Senators' Michalek, Phillips given day of rest

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators hit the ice Tuesday for the first time since the end of the regular season, but there were two key pieces missing.

Defenseman Chris Phillips and forward Milan Michalek did not skate, but coach Paul MacLean said the veterans were taking maintenance days and were expected to practice Wednesday in Montreal. Their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Canadiens starts Thursday at Bell Centre.

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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals