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Canadiens, Senators look to take lead in Game 3

by Arpon Basu


(Best-of-7 series tied 1-1)


Big story: The Ottawa Senators grabbed home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series by winning Game 1, and that’s a significant development. Ottawa had a 15-6-3 record in the regular season at Scotiabank Place, compared to a 10-11-3 record on the road.

Team Scope:

Canadiens: The series may be split, but Montreal coach Michel Therrien said his team has played two good games and doesn't need to change a thing.

The Canadiens outshot the Senators 50-31 in Game 1, but lost 4-2, then dominated long stretches of Game 2 on their way to a 3-1 win.

“I really like the way we played the last two games,” Therrien said after Game 2. “We just got the result tonight.”

The Canadiens were pleased with how they reacted to the loss of Lars Eller to a concussion and Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty to upper-body injuries. Gionta and Pacioretty skated with the Canadiens’ “Black Aces” on Saturday and traveled with the team to Ottawa, but Therrien was unwilling to say whether either one would be ready to play in Game 3.

Senators: Ottawa is looking for some offense, and it’s forced coach Paul MacLean to juggle his lines in each of the first two games, moving rookie Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the top line with Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson in place of Kyle Turris.

MacLean said it was not an indictment of Turris’ play, but rather an acknowledgment of how well young Pageau was performing. On Ottawa’s goal in Game 2, Pageau took some abuse from Canadiens goaltender Carey Price in front of the net moments before Michalek tipped home a shot by Chris Phillips.

“I thought Pageau was skating better and using the middle of the rink a little bit better than Kyle was,” MacLean said after Game 2. “Basically we were in a position to try to find some offense and tried to mix things up a little bit and get Kyle against a different set of defensemen and a different forward line and same with maybe [Alfredsson] and Milan. It didn’t work.”

Who's hot: For the Senators, Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson, Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad each have two points in the series. … Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher had a goal in each of the first two games.

Injury report: The Canadiens are missing Eller (concussion, facial fractures) and defenseman Alexei Emelin (knee). Pacioretty and Gionta are considered day-to-day. … The Senators are without center Jason Spezza (back).

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