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Senators must play 'three first periods' vs. Canadiens

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA -- Facing elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the message from the Ottawa Senators heading into Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday at Canadian Tire Centre (7 p.m. ET; CBC, USA, TVA Sports) was a simple one.

"Our starts have been great. Our first periods have been great. We just got to find a way to play three first periods in a game and maybe more," Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. "We need to find a way to stick with it for 60 minutes and not have the setbacks we've had in the second periods, especially. That's what's been killing us so far."

The Senators have led each of the first three games in the series 1-0 after the first period but haven't been able to sustain that level of play.

Part of the problem has been penalties. They've taken two penalties in the second period in each of the past two games.

All three games have been decided by one goal, the past two in overtime.

When asked what approach the Senators should take, rookie Curtis Lazar said, "Be fearless. We have nothing to lose out there. The pressure is all on them. The fourth game is always the toughest to win and we know that so go out there and play with no regrets and see how the cards play out.

"It takes four games to win a series so nothing is over yet."

The Senators are making a lineup change, with Zack Smith replacing veteran David Legwand at center on the fourth line. Senators coach Dave Cameron said Smith's speed can help with the forecheck.

After taking a day to think about it, Cameron said Craig Anderson will start in goal.

"At the end of the day you just want to make sure you left everything out there on the ice," Anderson said. "You don't want to come back in the room and say, 'Shoulda, woulda, coulda, I should have done something different.' If you leave everything out on the table and give everything you had you can at least look at yourself and look at your teammates and know you gave your best effort."


Said Karlsson, "It feels like we’ve being playing games like this for a while now. Our approach hasn't really changed even though we're down 3-0. We're going to keep doing the same things. We need a little bit more from everyone and we need to find a way to win a game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Devante Smith-Pelly

Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Jacob De La Rose - Lars Eller - Dale Weise

Brandon Prust - Torrey Mitchell - Brian Flynn

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Tom Gilbert - Greg Pateryn

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver, Sergei Gonchar, Joey MacDonald

Injured: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (upper body), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)


Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Milan Michalek - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Erik Condra - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Curtis Lazar

Mike Hoffman - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Andrew Hammond

Scratched: Alex Chiasson, Colin Greening, David Legwand, Jared Cowen

Injured: Robin Lehner (concussion), Chris Phillips (back), Matt Puempel (ankle)

Status report: Phillips underwent back surgery Tuesday and is expected to be ready for training camp.

Who's hot: MacArthur has two goals in the past two games. … Stone has three assists in the past two games. … Karlsson has three assists in the past three games.

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