OTTAWA -- The Montreal Canadiens see a better first period as a key to eliminating the Ottawa Senators in their Eastern Conference First Round series.
The Canadiens lead the Senators 3-0 in the best-of-7 series going into Game 4 on Wednesday at Canadian Tire Centre (7 p.m. ET; CBC, USA, TVA Sports), but have trailed each game 1-0 after the first period.
"We've got to come out with a better start," Canadiens forward Dale Weise said. "They are going to come out hard and we're going to have to weather the storm a little bit. We've got to push a little more. We sat back too much in the first period. They're a good skating team, they're physical. If we let them play the way they did we're going to be in trouble."
Weise helped the Canadiens bounce back in Game 3, scoring the game-tying goal in the third period and then again in overtime.
He said the Canadiens are comfortable playing from behind given their experience in the regular season.
"We're a confident group," Weise said. "We don't get too excited. We don't panic when we're down. We've been down in a lot of games this year; been down two, three goals and we've come back. So we have a lot of confidence in our group to come back. We don't panic. We know if it's going to take 59 minutes to tie the game, we're OK with that. We don't change our structure. We try and stay the same all the way."
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said he knows what to expect from the Senators.
"They're going to have an attitude about playing desperately and we need to have the same attitude," he said.
Therrien will be forced to make a lineup change for Game 4. Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is out after sustaining an upper body injury in Game 3. He'll be replaced by Greg Pateryn, 24, who played 17 games for the Canadiens this season, will make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut.
"I think everyone's expecting a lot from me so I'm excited to go out there," he said.
Pateryn is a physical defenseman, but Therrien said it will be important for him not to get out of position chasing hits. Pateryn said he's aware of that.
"There's a fine line between that, but you can't be hesitant in anything," Pateryn said. "You have to play within yourself and not let your emotions get to you."
The Canadiens know the Senators' story this season, how they came from 14 points back in the standings to earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Senators know about playing in desperate situations.
"We're extremely focused for this game," Weise said. "We want to end this series tonight. We don't want to give them any kind of life. It's a scary thing when you give a team a life."
Here are the projected lineups:
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Devante Smith-Pelly
Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher
Jacob De La Rose - Lars Eller - Dale Weise
Brandon Prust - Torrey Mitchell - Brian Flynn
Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry
Tom Gilbert - Greg Pateryn
Scratched: Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver, Sergei Gonchar, Joey MacDonald
Injured: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (upper body), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)
Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone
Milan Michalek - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan
Erik Condra - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Curtis Lazar
Mike Hoffman - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba
Scratched: Alex Chiasson, Colin Greening, David Legwand, Jared Cowen
Injured: Robin Lehner (concussion), Chris Phillips (back), Matt Puempel (ankle)
Status report: The Canadiens announced Beaulieu is out for the duration of the series. Karlsson hit him with a body check in the second period of Game 3.
Who's hot: Weise scored the Canadiens' goals in Game 3. … Mitchell had two assists in Game 3.