It’s about half an hour from puck drop at Scotiabank Place in Kanata for game four of the Canadiens/Senators match-up.
Down 2-1 in the series, it’s a must win for the Bleu Blanc et Rouge who are looking to bounce back from Sunday’s 6-1 drubbing.
Here are three keys to tonight’s game.
Emotions for tonight’s game are going to run high after Game 3’s shenanigans. Compounding that is the return of Sens defenceman Eric Gryba who’s done serving a two game suspension for obliterating Lars Eller in Game 1.
Habs players (see: Prust, Brendan) are going to be out for blood tonight.
The fans know it. The Sens know it. The refs know it.
It’s going to be a tightly called game and the Canadiens are going to have to pick their spots for revenge. The team took two penalties on powerplays in Game 3 and three off-setting penalties before things ramped up seven minutes into the third.
That lack of discipline cost them.
Les Boys would do well to remember that the best revenge is had on the scoreboard.
Gain the Zone
It’s time for Michel Therrien to earn all the Jack Adams Award talk he’s been receiving.
The Sens’ penalty killing was nearly flawless Sunday night with Paul MacLean lining his men up three high, one low on the PK. The set-up made it nearly impossible for the Habs to gain the zone by carrying the puck or with a pass.
The Habs will need to use their speed on the dump and chase to beat the three men up high and get the chance to set-up their advantage.
Hopefully that will spark a power play that sits at 15 per cent, well below their regular season average of 21 per cent.
Crash the Boards
Craig Anderson has been superb this year and is making a strong case to don the stars and stripes when Team USA roles into Sochi for next year’s Olympics.
Anderson is a brilliant first save goalie, but has a tendency to give up rebounds while out of position to make the second or third save.
The Habs need to send Prust, Gallagher, Moen, White, Gionta, Borque and the kitchen sink to the net create the traffic that leads to those rebounds and bang them home.
Price has been solid for all but a period of this series, it’s time for the offence to get going as well.
If the Habs can do these three things then we should be going back to the Bell Centre at 2-2 with a clean shot at advancing.
If not then the boys can start asking about tee-times at Royal Montreal.