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Senators have renewed confidence before Game 6

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA -- Bolstered by two straight wins, the Ottawa Senators are brimming with confidence heading into Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Senators will be looking to tie the best-of-7 series, which they trail 3-2, at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports).

"Personally, I think the series is ours to lose right now. We're feeling really good," Senators defenseman Eric Gryba said Saturday. "I know they're feeling the pressure right now. We've played some good hockey and the series could be different right now. It could be 3-2 us right now. Us winning these two games and coming home now, I'm sure they're feeling it a little bit."

Senators coach Dave Cameron, whose team went on a 23-4-4 run to finish the regular season and earn the first wild card from the Eastern Conference, said the Senators are drawing on that stretch of strong play.

"At the end of the day, we're still down 3-2. There are no guarantees," Cameron said. "Obviously, there's the fact you're home, but that doesn't guarantee you anything. We have to find a way to win another hockey game.

"This team believes in itself. It's been on the run here for two months. It believes in itself and it plays that way."

Cameron said he expects to have all his players available for Game 6. Forward Clarke MacArthur left Game 5 in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Center Jean-Gabriel Pageau limped off after blocking a shot by Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, but Pageau said Saturday he expects to play.

Gryba, asked if the Senators were in the Canadiens kitchen, said, "I'm not going to say I'm cooking bacon in there yet. I think we're frustrating them. The physical play we're bringing, they might be starting to feel more bumps and bruises as the series progresses, but I can't speak for their mindset.

"We've got to show up tomorrow night; we've got to win a game and then go back to Montreal."

The intensity of the series has been increasing since Subban slashed Senators forward Mark Stone in Game 1.

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson and Canadiens forward Brandon Prust got involved in "hacking and whacking," as Anderson put it, near the end of Game 5.

"We saw there at the end of the game emotions were kind of running wild there for both teams," Anderson said. "The team that's able to hold their emotions in check is probably going to have the better chance [in Game 6]."

The Senators and Canadiens, who played in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, know each other very well.

"The rivalry was already high before the series and now we've played five games so, for sure, the intensity is getting higher and higher," Pageau said. "We don't like them as much. I guess that's hockey."

Game 7 would be in Montreal on Tuesday.

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