(SportsNetwork.com) – The Montreal Canadiens will try to complete a first-
round sweep of the Ottawa Senators when the clubs meet Wednesday evening in
Canada’s capital city.
The Canadiens are trying to advance to the second round with a sweep for a
second straight spring. Montreal beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 in the
Eastern Conference quarterfinals last spring and eventually made it to the
East finals before falling in six games to the New York Rangers.
Although Montreal has a chance to finish off the Senators on Wednesday, this
series has been extremely close with the Habs taking each of the first three
meetings by just one goal. Ottawa also has dropped two straight in overtime,
including Sunday’s 2-1 setback at Canadian Tire Centre.
After losing Game 2 on Alex Galchenyuk’s game-winner less than four minutes
into OT, the Senators fell into a 0-3 hole Sunday night when Dale Weise scored
his second goal of the game at 8:47 of the extra session.
Weise, who tied the game with under six minutes left in the third period to
force OT, skated to the left circle and wristed a shot past Craig Anderson,
beating the goaltender to his short side.
Anderson, playing in his first game since March 29, was called upon after
Ottawa dropped the first two games of the series in Montreal with Andrew
Hammond between the pipes. Anderson nearly secured his third career postseason
shutout, but instead finished with 47 saves in a disappointing loss. He is
expected to get the start over Hammond again on Wednesday.
Clarke MacArthur scored the lone goal for the Senators, who will look to stave
off elimination tonight in front of their home crowd.
Carey Price made 33 stops on Sunday to record his 20th career postseason
victory, while Torrey Mitchell assisted on each of Weise’s goals.
“We played with much confidence and it helps to have a guy like Carey Price in
net who is solid,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “Every game we have
two teams fighting very hard and we gotta give credit to the Senators. They
have been hard on us in the first period.”
The Sens have taken a lead into the first intermission in each of the three
games only to watch the Canadiens overtake them in the end.
Only four teams have come back to win a series after facing a 0-3 deficit, but
two of those occurrences have come in recent memory. The Los Angeles Kings did
it last season in the opening round against San Jose, while the Philadelphia
Flyers pulled off the remarkable comeback against the Boston Bruins in the
second round of the 2010 playoffs.
“We take it one game at a time, and even though we’ve been playing better and
better as the series goes on, we still haven’t found a way to win a game and
that’s what we have to do now,” Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson said. “It’s do-
or-die and we only focus on Wednesday and see what happens.”
If Ottawa is able to win tonight, it will visit Montreal for Game 5 on Friday.
P.A. Parenteau has missed the last two games for the Habs after suffering an
upper-body injury in the series opener. The forward is questionable for
Nathan Beaulieu, meanwhile, will miss the remainder of the series with an
upper-body injury. The Canadiens defenseman absorbed a pair of big hits from
Karlsson in the game and didn’t play at all in the third period or overtime.
Greg Pateryn will replace Beaulieu in the lineup tonight.
This marks the second playoff meeting between the Habs and Sens. Ottawa won
the previous postseason encounter in quick fashion, taking the 2013 conference
quarterfinals matchup in five games. Montreal was a heavily-favored No. 2 seed
heading into that series before getting knocked off by the seventh-seeded