- The Canadiens held an optional skate at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata on Wednesday, ahead of Game 4 against the Sens.
- For a second year in a row, the Habs have the opportunity to sweep their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal opponents in four-straight, and they’ll be banking on that experience when the puck drops in the nation’s capital.
“We’re confident and loose in here, but we know how important this game is. When you have a team facing elimination, it’s the hardest one to win – we learned that last year,” described Dale Weise, who scored both Habs goals during Sunday’s 2-1 overtime win. “We wanted to close out Tampa last year and we want to get it done again tonight.”
Facing a team which has thrived under pressure during the final stretch of the season, recent history also highlights the importance of a quick finish on Wednesday.
“We saw what L.A. was able to do last year, and we don’t want to fall into a similar scenario,” continued the 26-year-old forward, who now sits second among his teammates for career game-winning goals in the playoffs with three. “It’s very important to get this win tonight.”
- Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will miss Game 4, and the rest of the first round series against Senators with an upper body injury. As first confimed by head coach Michel Therrien on Tuesday, Greg Pateryn will return to the lineup in Beaulieu’s place.
“Pateryn played well when we first called him up. He deserves to be there, and he deserves this chance,” acknowledged the Habs bench boss of the 24-year-old rearguard who played a career-high 17 games with the big club during the 2014-15 regular season. “We have confidence in him because he’s a powerful defenseman who skates well and is capable of making a good first pass.”
In the NHL’s most physical series this postseason – Montreal and Ottawa have combined to dish out a league-high 277 hits through three games so far – it’s no secret why Pateryn got the nod from his coach.
“I think I bring the physical element that we need,” confirmed the Sterling Heights, MI native. “Both teams have been battling physically, and I think that’s a pretty big aspect of my game that I pride myself on – being physical, but not taking stupid penalties. I’m looking forward to it tonight.”
- Joining Pateryn in the physicality department is Devante Smith-Pelly, who in his first postseason with the Habs, already leads the team with 14 hits.
“We need to match their energy and desperation. We don’t want to let them back into this series. They came out strong on Sunday, and should be even tougher tonight with the season on the line,” predicted the former Anaheim Duck, who scored five goals during the 2014 playoffs. “A physical game suits me well, because that’s how I play regardless. These are the types of games that are fun to be a part of.”
- Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron confirmed on Wednesday morning that Craig Anderson will get the start in goal opposite Carey Price for Game 4. Anderson made 47 saves for the Sens most recently in Sunday’s overtime loss.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on TVA Sports and CBC.