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Senators hold pre-practice meeting in advance of Game 6 against Penguins

Players need 'everybody on board' facing elimination from Eastern Conference Final

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators stressed the importance of returning to the foundation of their defensive system during a meeting prior to practice Monday.

The Senators must defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) to avoid elimination. The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 after a 7-0 victory in Game 5 on Sunday.

"We're playing against a very good hockey team," defenseman Marc Methot said. "But you've got to believe you can do it. We've won games. We know that we can do it. There's no exception or difference [Tuesday]. It's another game where you have to go and stick to your game plan and we need everybody on board. That's something we addressed today."


[RELATED: Complete Penguins vs. Senators series coverage]


The Senators had a full practice for the first time since May 12, the day before the start of the conference final.

"It's a good way to have everyone come into the rink today and wipe everything clean," Methot said. "We had a good little chat before practice, then go out there and you just get a little sweat and free your mind."

Goaltender Craig Anderson said it has been easy for the players to move on from their one-sided loss Sunday in preparation for Game 6.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm5: Anderson makes a pair of strong saves

"It's a lot easier to put those away than it is losing 1-0," Anderson said. "It's one of those days you look forward and move on and get ready for the next one. We're all human. We all have bad days. [Sunday] was a bad day for all of us."

The Senators are drawing on their previous experience bouncing back during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They lost Game 3 and 4 against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Second Round but won the next two and clinched the series in six games.

"We've played good games, we've played bad games," Anderson said. "I think in games past or series past we've always responded in the right way. We're looking for a good response from us and playing the way we're capable of playing and don't deviate away from what's had success for us."

Senators coach Guy Boucher said he thinks his players understand how they got away from their game plan and the way they have to play to give themselves a chance to win Game 6.

"I think our players have recognized themselves, we got a little overexcited here and maybe we were trying to recreate [Game 3] where we scored four goals right off the bat," Boucher said. "And the game right after that we could have had two, three goals right away the first 10, 12 minutes. So I think that approach has not served us very well this year at all. [Game 3] it worked out that we scored, but those are anomalies, just like the game we just played there. That's a total anomaly for us.

"So we can't be scared of living that again, and we can't be hoping to give it to the opponent like that again because that's exactly how we feel we're going to get lost and not be ourselves and not even give ourselves a chance."

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