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Senators vs. Penguins: Game Four

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

5:20 PM: The only Sens game preview you need before puck drop courtesy of Gord Wilson and Sens TV.

5:00 PM: Jean-Gabriel Pageau has become the local star for the Sens during these playoffs and now he is going toe to toe with some of the biggest names in the league. Here's what he had to say before Game 4.

On facing Sidney Crosby:

Obviously he's a really good player. It's a big challenge every shift I'm on the ice against him. I'm just trying to give everything I've got to make sure I do my job and don't disappoint the other guys... I was a little bit nervous but the more I'm playing against him I'm getting comfortable. I can say now that I'm really playing my game.
On if he feels like he's on a fourth line:
Not really, we don't really mind what position in the lineup we are. Fourth line, third line, second line it doesn't matter. We're a team, we always step up for each other, we're always together. It doesn't matter what line we are.
His thoughts on the Pageau chants:
Awesome. I didn't expect that, I didn't expect to be here. And now that everybody is chanting my name it's just great support and great motivation to keep going.
On becoming a mainstay in the lineup:
I'm really happy I'm staying in the lineup, I really like to play here, especially in Ottawa. The fans are awesome. Just to be part of the team right now I'm just trying to enjoy the moment no matter what.
4:30 PM: Erik Karlsson spoke about the team's ability to get production from each line, their renowned Pesky-ness and keeping the ball rolling after Game 3.

On role players stepping up:

That's going to be a key thing to any series. You need guys that aren't targeted as much to step up. We have a great group for that. I think every guy in here can help decide a game and the third and fourth lines have played huge roles for us.
On the team's late game production:
Those are the things you can't control. No matter what the score is you just have to keep playing your game and keep going forward and trying to get the next goal. That's what we've been trying to do even though they've been scoring first and we've been down. I don't think it really matters if we're down five goals or one goal, we're going to try and play our same game and try and push and get a little bit better every shift.
On getting mentally prepared for the rest of the series:
You don't think about Game 6 or 5 now, you think about the next one. We're going to have to win that one. We're going to have to play well. You try to take it day by day.
On staying consistent from one game to the next:
Don't overthink it too much and just go with the moment. You try and prepare yourself in whatever way you think is best for yourself and when the time comes you're going to do everything you can to feel your best to play hard and work hard and hopefully it pays off.
3:15 PM: UPDATE: The Red Zone will be open for pre-game festivities only tonight beginning at 5:00 p.m. featuring music, interactive games and the Molson Canadian Hockey House.  The Red Zone, including the Molson Canadian Hockey House will close at the start of the game.  Fans who do not have a ticket and wish to take in the Red Zone and watch the game from the Red Zone are welcome to watch the game in Bert’s Bar or Frank Finnigan’s restaurants in Scotiabank Place.

With inclement weather to speak of The Red Zone will be open for tonight’s game beginning at 5:00 p.m. featuring music, interactive games and the Molson Canadian Hockey House. Arrive early and join-in the pre-game festivities!

Here's the scene from Game 3:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go frantically knock on some wood.

2:30 PM: Jason Spezza will be playing his second game since his return from back surgery tonight. Here's what he had to say about how he's coming along.

I felt better today in the morning than I did that first game in the morning. It's just going to be a process. It's important to keep my shifts short and I'm trying to be cognizant of the little things so I don't get caught out there or caught in bad matchups. Then I think the game will come back. It comes back quick. I think as the game went on I started making some plays last game and hopefully that just keeps progressing.
2:00 PM: Sens TV has their usual slate of A/V goodness for you. We've got four videos for you to consume today.

Paul MacLean

Chris Phillips

Craig Anderson

Mark Stone

1:30 PM: Here is tonight's projected lineup for Game 4. It should be noted that Cory Conacher took part in today's morning skate and Milan Michalek did not, but it is expected that Conacher will come out to give Mark Stone an opportunity.

Michalek - Spezza - Stone

Silfverberg - Turris - Alfredsson

Smith - Zibanejad - Neil

Greening - Pageau - Condra

Methot - Karlsson

Cowen - Gonchar

Benoit - Phillips

As should be expected by this point, Craig Anderson is your starting goaltender.

1:10 PM:
Chris Phillips has been a rock for the Sens since the beginning of the playoffs with his play on the back end. The longtime Sens defenceman offered up these thoughts ahead of Game 4.

On how to improve gong into tonight:

We need to get playing in their direction instead of sitting on our heels. We need to get the puck moving and get on our toes and play in their zone. That's what we have to do. We need to be quick and efficient and if you can force a team like that to play in their own zone it makes it really tough for them to score goals.
On if the Sens played harder at the nets in Game 3:
We found a way to do it. I don't know if you're tallying it up who would be the victor but when you come out on top at the end of the game, that's a big part of it. That's a big part of it as we go forward. Starting tonight, be harder on rebounds and pucks laying around their zone and we have to continue to be better and stronger at boxing them out and not allowing them any second chances.
On momentum in the playoffs:
I think it's shift-to-shift really. You can make a story of it but when it comes down to it and you step on the ice you can't be thinking about what you did the last game. It's about what's happening in the present and to win every shift. When we do that we'll let the results take care of themselves.
On the PK performance in Game 3:
That was better for us, for sure. They have a strong unit there, they're going to get their chances and even when you're down a man it's up to us to try and eliminate them being able to get to second chances either clearing the puck down or having Andy able to smother those ones.
On the leadership group:
What we try to do is lead by example. In this case we had a big emotional win in Game 3 and to not sit on that or ride it out, it's another game now. We're very pleased with the outcome last game but it means nothing without a good, strong performance last night.
On why the Sens are so good at home:
They call it home ice advantage. Guys feel comfortable here and the fans behind us is a great boost. I'm not sure what else but we'll take it.
12:30 PM: Mark Stone could draw into the lineup tonight. He talked about getting his feet wet during last year's playoffs and how he has grown in that time.

On the 2012 playoffs:

Obviously playing last year in the playoffs it was a pretty similar atmosphere at Madison Square Garden. Obviously the pace ups here, but I'm just excited to be part of the team and help them win.
On what he brings:
I've been known to be a scorer in my past and I'm looking to come here, get to the net and do the same thing.
On preparing for action in practice:
Watching the games you want to be a part of it so I'm obviously excited and looking forward to the opportunity. I've been practicing with all of the top players so I'm pretty excited.
On getting his first game in New York:
It was probably the best experience of my life. Playing at MSG is fairybook story for me and I'm excited to get it going here. I'm just trying to help the team in any way, whether that's blocking shots or scoring goals.
On his growth this year:
I got my first year of pro under my belt, that's a pretty big step. Obviously I've only played four games up here this year but professional hockey is a lot different than coming out of juniors.
12:00 PM: Today's morning skate has wrapped up and the media have had their turn with the team. We're getting closer to puck drop.

10:00 AM: Remember Colin Greening's 2OT winner? Well, for those of you who weren't at Scotiabank Place and didn't get an adequate sense of how insane it was inside the building, I have tracked down this clip shot by a Sens fan after the Cornell grad gave the Sens a 2-1 win.

Spoiler Alert: It is quite loud. Also, ample goal horn. Ample.

9:30 AM: It's Game 4 Game Day in Ottawa and your Senators are awaiting the start of Game 4 of their series with the Penguins tonight with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm. The Sens displayed that vaunted peskyness in Game 3 with Daniel Alfredsson's tying goal with 28.6 seconds to play and Colin Greening's winner coming in the second overtime of the fourth longest game in Sens history.

The Sens will hit the ice at 10:00 am for their morning skate at Scotiabank Place. I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players thoughts on tonight's game, Sens TV updates, Instagram goodness and more.

Stay tuned!

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