Sens captain Erik Karlsson spoke with the media this morning prior to the first game of their home-and-home weekend series against the Canadiens.
On the magnitude of tonight's game:
It's an important game. We're at the point in the season that both teams have established our identities and I think we are where we are for a reason. It's going to be a tough game to play. Both teams are going to work extremely hard and we're going to try and do the things that we do well and hopefully that is going to pan out in our favour.
On the growing rivalry with Montreal:
We're both hockey markets, Canadian teams that aren't too far apart and Montreal is Montreal. They have a great fanbase, a lot of coverage, they're playing really well right now and they have a lot of exciting things to look forward too. For us, it's a statement game a little bit. We want to show how good we are but at the same time we have to do our things the right way. That's what we're going to focus on tonight. We aren't going to get caught up in everything around this game. We've done a lot of good things this year and we have to make sure that tonight everybody is doing their best and putting their best foot forward. These are the games that we've been looking forward to playing and now they're finally here so we've got to embrace it and seize the opportunity that we have.
On having to play the Canadiens three times in the next 7 days:
The way that it turned out, it turned out to be meaningful games at this time of the year. That's what we wanted. The schedule isn't something that we can control, we're going to have to face them five times every year and it happens to be three times in a week as of right now. Both teams have done a good job to put themselves in a good position in the standings. We enjoy these games and we've been waiting to play these types of games and now that we're finally here we have to embrace it and make sure that we do the things that we've been doing to set us up for this moment.