Skip to main content

Senators to insert center Smith into Game 4 lineup

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA -- Center Zack Smith will play for the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports).

With the Senators trailing the best-of-7 series 3-0, Smith will replace veteran David Legwand on the fourth line in an attempt to bring more speed to the lineup, coach Dave Cameron said.

Cameron said he wasn't prepared to announce who will start in goal. Craig Anderson started Game 3 and made 47 saves in the 2-1 overtime loss after Andrew Hammond allowed seven goals in the first two games of the series.

Anderson sustained a bruised hand Jan. 21 and missed 19 games. His start in Game 3 was his first since March 29 and Cameron said he wanted to make sure Anderson was healthy before deciding who would start Game 4.

Cameron said he didn't want a repeat of what happened March 4, when he announced Anderson would start against the Winnipeg Jets, but it turned out Anderson wasn't ready.

"When you have a goalie that's coming back off an injury there's always a little pause too, to make sure that everything goes all right today," Cameron said. "I haven't talked to him today. There's no urgency to announce (who will start)."

The Senators meetings Tuesday focused on staying out of the penalty box. They have taken a pair of penalties in the second periods of Games 2 and 3.

"We got into penalty trouble in almost every game and that was really deflating for us," Senators defenseman Cody Ceci said. "They have a good power play and they kind of pepper us with shots on every one. That changes the momentum in every game."

"Both games, two each (in the second period), that's four minutes," Cameron said. "That's a big swing when the other team is on the power play, controlling the puck, controlling momentum. I thought on our real good looks in the second period, we didn't execute. We had a 4-on-2 and didn't get it to the net, two 4-on-2s and didn't get it to the net. That makes it swing even more."

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

The Senators have been close, but not close enough.

"We've been in all the games. We're bound to have one go the other way," Ceci said. "We've had a lot of huge games this year that were must-wins and now this is a must-win again. We've been in this situation before and we just need to get it done."

In summing up the Senators situation on Monday, Cameron quoted a Chinese proverb that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

He was asked Tuesday if he had any more Chinese proverbs.

"No Chinese proverbs today, but I think there's Chinese food in the players lounge today," he said. "I don't know if that's a good sign or not."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.