Ottawa began the series against their countrymen with a victory but were outplayed in the second match, and now return to the capital to finish the job. Montréal outshot the Senators in both games, but they couldn’t send enough goals past Craig Anderson who was outstanding in the net.
Match: Ottawa vs Montreal
Odds: William Hill 2.20
The Senators will need to play a more aggressive game and it is very likely for that to happen at home, where their fans will turn the arena into a buzzing hornets nest. Ottawa was one of the best home teams in the regular season and won 15 games, but their opponents were equally deadly on the road. At the end of the day it was the better away performance that enabled the Canadiens to finish on a better position and granted them advantage in four of the potential seven games of the series.
Montréal will play without three of its veterans, as Max Pachioretty, Lars Eller and Brian Gionta are all sidelined with injuries. On the other side, defenseman Eric Gryba would also miss from the lineup, as he is serving the second game of suspension for hitting Eller. This means that the visitors will have a new opportunity of sending more shots towards the net brilliantly defended by Craig Anderson. Even so, the Senators shouldn’t have a hard time taking an early lead, now that their offensive is finally clicking.
If the Senators succeed in scoring early in the game, their backline and stellar goaltender should secure victory in match three. Ottawa is hard-pressed to win both home games, as the Canadiens will play the remaining three at home, therefore it is worth backing them to win in regulation time at William Hill.