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Sens Army called to battle

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators are counting on their seventh man to give them a playoff lift.

When the Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins face off Monday night at Scotiabank Place in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200), it'll be one more chance for their devoted Sens Army supporters to play a part in the home side's post-season success.

"It's going to be amazing," said rookie forward Cody Bass, who'll play the first home playoff game of his young National Hockey League career. "I heard a lot of things about the crowd here last year when the team was on a run. Hopefully, they bring the same energy (Monday) and we can feed off it."

Added rugged forward Chris Neil: "It's a great opportunity for (the fans) to jump behind us and support us coming out. We know they're going to be ready, so we've got to be ready to go."

While head coach/general manager Bryan Murray knows it's the players on the ice who will decide the final outcome, he's seen plenty of evidence already that a fired-up crowd can be a factor for the home side.

"I hope they give us a boost," Murray said of the Senators fans, who produced 34 straight sellouts at Scotiabank Place to finish the regular season. "I looked at all the games around the league in the last couple of days and the towel waving and all the things that went on. (The fans) don't play the game but they do give emotion and hopefully, they would lift the players.

"It's exciting for the young players in particular to have that kind of adrenalin rush when they come on the ice and the fans are supportive. It really shouldn't matter that much, although I know it does, that we haven't played a home game and we are down two (games). So we hope (the fans) will help."

Monday's game marks the return of the Red Zone party area in front of Gate 1 at Scotiabank Place. It'll be open two hours before game time both Monday and Wednesday, when Game 4 will be played.

Visit our Mission Control web page for all the latest fan updates, blogs and more.

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