MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens promise they will not go quietly into the night.
Trailing 3-1 in their first-round series
against the Ottawa Senators, the only hope for the Habs is that history can repeat itself. That, in some way shape or form, they can dig down deep just like they did in Round 2 against the Washington Capitals back in 2010.
The task will be much more difficult. The Habs likely won't have top goalie Carey Price, who is out with an undisclosed lower body injury
, and the club announced Wednesday morning captain Brian Gionta is done
for the series because of bicep surgery.
Still, the Habs are promising to dig down deep and defenceman P.K. Subban even insinuated the Senators don't deserve to be ahead
in this series based on their play.
"We need guys to step up," said Subban. "We still have a pulse right now, we're still alive and [Thursday night's] game is the biggest of the season and we have to be ready to play. Our focus has to be on bringing the best we have to this next game.
"We can sit and talk about [Tuesday's] game all we want, but it's over with, and quite frankly, I want to beat these guys. We have another opportunity [Thursday) to play, and we can beat these guys. We're better."Therrien emotional
This is a tough time for the Habs. As the No. 2 seed in the East, they didn't expect to be in this position. Gionta tried to play with the bicep injury, but the decision was made that he shouldn't continue and coach Michel Therrien was emotional Wednesday.
"He's got a lot of courage, and with the decision that he was not capable to keep going, and when we heard the news, our captain was crying in my arms," said Therrien. "It's tough, this is a bunch of guys with a lot of courage, more courage than a lot of people think. I know because I live with these guys every day."
Of course that's not what the scores would indicate.
The Senators don't expect the Habs just to just fork over the series either. The Senators were ahead 3-2 on the New York Rangers last spring, but couldn't close it out and home and dropped Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.
No wonder coach Paul MacLean isn't feeling comfortable.
"We're scared to death," he said.
Winger Chris Neil sure didn't sound that way.
"For us, we've got to be focused and just go out to play our game," said Neil. "That's the bottom line. You do learn from the past. Guys get experience. We had a lot of young guys last year that carried over into this year.
"We're focused on one game. That's [Thursday] night. We've got to come out and be ready to go. They aren't going to give you the game. Their guys are going to be ready to go. They're going to be a patient team like they have been."No easy night
MacLean said the Habs might be beaten up but that doesn't mean the Senators can expect any easy night.
"We know it's going to be really hard. I know that," said MacLean. "They're going to be very competitive. We're going to come out competitive. It's going to be a hard game and we have to be prepared for that.
"No matter what they have or they play, they're going to play hard."
Subban said he isn't prepared to start packing up to go home.
"I think guys are going to realize, when we come out of the gates and we're flying, guys are going to realize that we're a better team, and there's still life in this series for us. It takes guys in this room to believe that," said Subban.
"It's a situation right now where all the pressure's on them. I mean, you're up 3-1 right now, on the road, with guys in and out of the lineup, they want to end this thing. But they've got to beat us first, so good luck to them. We've been a team, we've been out-shooting them every game, we've got good goaltending no matter who's in the nets, so I wish them the best of luck."
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