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5 Keys: Senators at Bruins, Game 4

Ottawa tries to take 3-1 series lead; Boston needs better start, more desperation

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent


7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, NESN

Ottawa leads best-of-7 series 2-1

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will try to even their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators by winning Game 4 at TD Garden on Wednesday.


[RELATED: Complete Senators-Bruins series coverage]


After the Bruins rallied for a 2-1 win in Game 1, the Senators have won the past two games in overtime, including a 4-3 victory in Game 3 on Monday. Ottawa is 3-0-0 in Boston this season.

Here are the 5 keys for Game 4:


1. Match Boston's desperation

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher pointed out that all three home teams that played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday were trailing in their series and won Game 4. Boucher expects the Bruins will match the desperation of those teams, and he thinks the Senators will be ready.

"We're expecting their very, very best and their most desperate game of the year," Boucher said. "We know exactly what's coming tonight; we're not going to be surprised by how hard they're coming and how much they've prepared and how much they want this game, that's for sure. Our expectation is that this is going to be their very, very best and their hardest. We know that."

Video: OTT@BOS, Gm3: Brassard slams home Ryan's nice dish


2. Start on time

The Bruins have to play better from the outset in Game 4 after falling behind 3-0 in Game 3.

"You can always improve on your game. Obviously our start last game wasn't where it should have been," forward Brad Marchand said. "If you take that out of the equation we had a pretty good game. ... "I think just puck management was where we got in trouble a little bit. A couple turnovers that weren't forced. We just have to take care of the puck a little better."


3. Bruins defense gets healthier

The Bruins played Game 3 without four regular defensemen. Colin Miller, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 1, is expected to return for Game 4. Miller had 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 61 games during the regular season.

"Hopefully [I can give the team] a bit of a lift, but we're not going to change much," Miller said.

Miller will be paired with John-Michael Liles; rookie Tommy Cross, who made his NHL postseason debut in Game 3, will be scratched.

Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo remain out. None of them practiced Wednesday.

Video: WSH@BOS: Miller finds loose puck, lights the lamp


4. Stay disciplined

The Senators are 3-for-10 on the power play; the Bruins are 2-for-10. Staying out of the penalty box is going to be even more important as the series wears on and emotions boil over. Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan's overtime goal in Game 3 came during a power play after he drew a roughing penalty on Riley Nash.

"I think it's the same for everybody, they seem to be taking the guys for retaliatory penalties," Ottawa forward Mark Stone said. "So for us we're going to have to stay out of the mess, play between the whistles and if we're going to take penalties they're good, honest penalties and don't take any cheapies."

Video: OTT@BOS, Gm3: Hoffman nets a power-play goal off iron


5. Faceoffs

The Senators won 53 percent of the faceoffs during the first three games, including 55 percent in Game 3. Center Derick Brassard won 18 of 24, including 11 of 15 against Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, who led the NHL with 1,089 faceoff wins during the regular season.

Those two figure to set the tone again.

"I just mixed it up, got some tips from some guys that used to play here," Brassard said of his success against Bergeron. "Just try to execute it, and it was one of those nights. I expect him to bounce back and I'm going to have to try to be at my best."


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

Injured: Mark Borowiecki (lower body)


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Drew Stafford -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Dominic Moore -- Ryan Spooner -- Frank Vatrano

Tim Schaller -- Riley Nash -- Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Joe Morrow -- Kevan Miller

John-Michael Liles -- Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Jimmy Hayes, Tommy Cross, Sean Kuraly, Matt Beleskey, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson

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


Status report

The Senators will dress the same 18 skaters they used in Game 3. Boucher said Borowiecki is "closer every day" to returning but will miss his second straight game. ... The Bruins will use the same 12 forwards who played Monday.


Who's hot

Ryan has four points (two goals, two assists) in the first three games. Brassard has four points (two goals, two assists) and Karlsson has four assists. ... Pastrnak has three points (one goal, two assists) in the series and is the only Bruins player with at least one point in each game.

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