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Anderson, Neil in for Senators against Canadiens

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA – With the Ottawa Senators down 2-0 to the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference First Round, coach Dave Cameron will make a couple of lineup changes for Game 3 of their best-of-7 series at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN).

The biggest is goaltender Craig Anderson starting in place of Andrew Hammond, who gave up seven goals in the two losses in Montreal.

Anderson has played four games since Jan. 21, when he sustained a bruised right hand. He went 1-2-1 and gave up 14 goals.

Anderson, who was a star in the Senators first-round win against the Canadiens in 2013, said patience will be the key in his return.

"Sometimes you try to do a little too much, you try to chase the game a bit," he said. "We work hard in practice and try to make it as game-like as we can and try to mimic some stuff. It's a matter of being patient and letting the game come to myself."

Physical wing Chris Neil will play his first game since Feb. 14 when he broke his thumb in a fight with Luke Gazdic of the Edmonton Oilers.

Neil will take the place of forward Alex Chiasson, who played 5:45 in Game 2. His physical play in what should be a loud Canadian Tire Centre could give the Senators a boost. He is expected to play on a line with Mike Hoffman and David Legwand.

His approach?

"Keeping it simple," Neil said. "Just try to make the smart play, the easy play, making sure I'm getting pucks behind their 'D' so I can go and forecheck on them. Talk to my linemates and make sure they're keeping it simple as well. It's the dirty goals that go in at this time of year.

"I feel good, from the rehab part, I'm ready for this moment. All those bag skates have paid off.''

The Senators will be looking for their first complete game of the series. They led 1-0 after the first period in each game, but have been outscored 6-2 in the second period.

Forward Mark Stone said he will play in Game 3. He sustained a microfracture and ligament damage in his right wrist in Game 1. He had two assists in Game 2.

"That train ride home wasn't the funnest; pretty painful on the way home. But during the game I was fine,'' he said.

Stone wore a brace on his wrist and said he expected it to be more comfortable in Game 3.

"It's getting better, the movement is getting better," he said. "It's just one of those things where it has to heal.''

Here are the projected lineups:


Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisDevante Smith-Pelly

Alex GalchenyukTomas PlekanecBrendan Gallagher

Jacob De La RoseLars EllerDale Weise

Brandon PrustTorrey MitchellBrian Flynn

Andrei MarkovP.K. Subban

Alexei EmelinJeff Petry

Nathan BeaulieuTom Gilbert

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver, Sergei Gonchar, Greg Pateryn, Joey MacDonald

Injured: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (upper body)


Clarke MacArthurKyle TurrisMark Stone

Milan MichalekMika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Erik CondraJean-Gabriel PageauCurtis Lazar

Mike HoffmanDavid LegwandChris Neil

Marc MethotErik Karlsson

Patrick WierciochCody Ceci

Mark BorowieckiEric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Andrew Hammond

Scratched: Alex Chiasson, Colin Greening, Zack Smith, Jared Cowen

Injured: Robin Lehner (concussion), Chris Phillips (back), Matt Puempel (ankle)

Status report: Neil averaged 9:44 of ice time a game in 38 regular-season games.

Who's hot: Wiercioch has a goal and two assists in the series … Zibanejad has a goal and an assist … Karlsson and Stone each have two assists.

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