SENATORS AT CANADIENS
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Montreal leads best-of-7 series 3-1
The Ottawa Senators have a pretty good track record with their backs against the wall and that may serve them well against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 at Bell Centre on Friday, when they will face their second straight must-win game.
Goalie Craig Anderson is expected to make his third straight start after taking over for Andrew Hammond, who lost a pair of one-goal games in Montreal to begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"We know what kind of energy's in that building," Anderson said after practice Thursday. "We know what the fans are like. We know the atmosphere is going to be what it is. We've been there, we've experienced it, so there is a preparation as far as a home versus away games. There's definitely going to be a little bit of a difference, but hopefully we've had enough experience where we can manage that and prepare for it."
Anderson starred against the Canadiens in Ottawa's five-game playoff series win in 2013 that included a pair of victories at Bell Centre.
"Things have changed, teams have changed, but the one constant is the building and the fans, and the energy and the atmosphere," Anderson said. "If we can manage that and go in there and play the way we've been playing we give ourselves a chance. We don't know how the game's going to end up, but if we leave everything out there hopefully it ends up in our favor."
While the Senators have to win three straight games to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive, the Canadiens will try to make the most of their second opportunity to close out the series. Coach Michel Therrien hopes to see the Canadiens build on their best start of the series in Game 4.
"You could tell that we were pushing the pace really hard, we got some good scoring chances and we were playing really fast," Therrien said Thursday. "... We didn't change our game plan and we got to the third period and we were one period away to win the series, that was really tight. So my main focus is about preparing our team for (Friday) and make sure that we have another solid game. This is a building that it is fun to play for us, it can be difficult to for the opponent. We feel the energy of our fans like the [Senators] feel the energy of their fans, so (Friday) won't be any different."