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5 Keys: Senators at Bruins, Game 3

Boston could get center David Krejci back; Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki out

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent


7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports, NESN

Best-of-7 series is tied 1-1

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will try to defend their home-ice advantage when they play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on Monday.


[RELATED: Complete Senators-Bruins series coverage]


The Bruins won Game 1 in Ottawa, but the Senators rallied to win Game 2 in overtime to earn a split on their home ice to open the series.

Here are 5 keys for Game 3:


1. David Krejci

The Bruins center missed the first two games of the series because of an upper-body injury. After the morning skate Monday, Krejci said he'd be a game-time decision.

"It was really disappointing [to be out]," Krejci said. "Playing all 82 [regular-season] games and then you have to miss at least the first two games of the playoffs, it was disappointing, frustrating. But what can you do? You've got to work hard to get back at it. We've been doing that and feeling better. And we'll see how it feels tonight."

Video: NSH@BOS: Krejci scores off give-and-go with Pastrnak

The Bruins scored five goals in the first two games, and their offense could use Krejci, who had 54 points (23 goals, 31 assists) during the regular season.


2. Piecing together the Bruins defense

Boston coach Bruce Cassidy described his defense as "a bit like a puzzle that we're piecing together." They're down four regular defensemen because of injuries and called up Tommy Cross and Matt Grzelcyk from Providence of the American Hockey League on Monday.

Colin Miller (lower body) skated Monday and will be a game-time decision. If Miller can't play, Cross most likely would replace him after skating on a pair with John-Michael Liles during practice. Cross has played three NHL games, all in 2015-16.

"You know what you get with Tom," Cassidy said. "He's a hard-nosed guy, he moves the puck."

Brandon Carlo (upper body), Torey Krug (lower body) and Adam McQuaid (upper body) did not practice and are day to day.


3. Exploiting the Bruins defense

The Senators have had mixed results exploiting the Bruins' inexperience on defense and will try to do a better job of that in Game 3.

Video: BOS@OTT, Gm2: MacArthur excites fans with moving goal

"You just kind of try to make them uncomfortable," Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan said. "You try to put pucks deep, and when you have an opportunity to finish a hit you finish the hit. If you put the pucks in the spots that they don't necessarily want to go back to go get and you try to close the gap on them whenever you can, there's really no secret to it. You've just got to do it over and over."


4. Ben Harpur draws in

Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki won't play in Game 3 because of a lower-body injury sustained during Game 2. Coach Guy Boucher said rookie Ben Harpur, who played six NHL games this season, will replace Borowiecki.

"Just playing a simple game and doing everything hard," Harpur said of his approach. "Bringing it every shift. There's been some adjustments that [the Bruins] made throughout the games, but the coaches have been good in conveying that message through the practices so I've picked up on a lot of it."


5. Home ice

The Bruins will host a postseason game for the first time since May 14, 2014. They're looking forward to the home-ice advantage.

Video: FLA@BOS: Marchand roofs a rebound for PPG

"The team was talking the last couple days, looking forward to seeing how fired up the crowd is and how excited they are," forward Brad Marchand said. "We're looking forward to seeing it and I'm sure they're excited to see playoff hockey back here so it should be fun."


Senators projected lineup

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Alexandre Burrows

Viktor Stalberg -- Derick Brassard -- Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman -- Zack Smith -- Mark Stone

Clarke MacArthur -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Ben Harpur -- Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Matthew O'Connor, Chris Kelly, Jyrki Jokipakka, Fredrik Claesson, Tommy Wingels, Colin White

Injured: Mark Borowiecki (lower body)


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Drew Stafford -- David Krejci -- David Backes

Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash -- Noel Acciari

Matt Beleskey -- Ryan Spooner -- Frank Vatrano

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Joe Morrow -- Kevan Miller

John-Michael Liles -- Tommy Cross

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Matt Grzelcyk, Jimmy Hayes, Malcolm Subban

Injured: Colin Miller (lower body), Brandon Carlo (upper body), Torey Krug (lower body), Adam McQuaid (upper body)


Status report

Karlsson took a maintenance day and did not skate Monday. "He never really needs to practice to be honest with you. ... He's in perfect health," Boucher said. The Senators will use the same 12 forwards who played in Game 2. ... Acciari could get back in the lineup after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. Cassidy will decide between Schaller and Beleskey to complete the line with Spooner and Vatrano if Krejci plays.


Who's hot

Phaneuf had three points (one goal, two assists) in Game 2, tying the Senators playoff record for points in a game by a defenseman. ... Bergeron has two points (one goal and one assist) and Pastrnak has two assists in the first two games.

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