OTTAWA -- Will Eric Gryba be a marked man?
The Ottawa Senators defenceman returns Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens for Game 4 of their first-round series (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET) after serving a two-game suspension handed down for his blindside hit on winger Lars Eller in Game 1.
If the 25-year-old Gryba is the least bit nervous about stepping back in a series where the temperature is on high, he didn't look it following Tuesday's morning skate at Scotiabank Place. He doubts he'll be a target for the Habs.
"I'm sure guys are going to look for an opportunity to take a run at me. But it's nothing I haven't dealt with before," said Gryba.
Senators head coach Paul MacLean confirmed Gryba will return to replace the injured Patrick Wiercioch. MacLean isn't sure if Gryba will be the object of the Habs' frustrations.
"It should be interesting to watch," said MacLean.
Yes, it should. If anything happens to Gryba, winger Matt Kassian told reporters that the Senators have got his back.
"There will be 19 other guys out there who will have his back. [Backup netminder Robin Lehner] will hop the boards if he has to," joked Kassian. "It's a team game. One thing you did see last game is that we're a team not afraid to stand up for each other."
Back in the game
The Canadiens don't want to get caught up in a sideshow in Game 4. They had enough of the antics in Game 3.
"We played two solid games in Montreal," Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said Tuesday morning. "We have to focus on the positive and what we can do well."
Nobody in the Montreal dressing room is expecting a repeat of this past Sunday's penalty-filled affair, especially with the Habs trailing in the series and trying to tie it up 2-2 before heading back home for Game 5.
"We have to play a better than we did the last game," said Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges. "We have to understand that Ottawa is going to push.
"That is a team that works hard, extremely hard and we can't get frustrated by anything that they do. We have to stick to what makes us good and not lose our gameplan, system or focus -- just continue to fight no matter what the circumstances we've got to keep playing.
"That's why you've got to win four games in a series. It's a process you have to continue to work on. We're going to need a big effort."
Pageau back on Earth
MacLean made sure they met with Pageau so that his effort is consistent in Game 4.
"We probably should sit him out," said MacLean. "I have not talked to him.
"I had the assistants speak with him. There's lots of people talking to him.
"In reading what he's had to say, I think he's handled himself very well. I think he's been through some pretty important and stressful times.
"It's also important to allow a player to grow a little bit on his own and see how he does respond. We expect he'll come back and be ready to play."
Subban chooses silence
P.K. Subban of the Canadiens was chosen of the three finalists for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman on Tuesday.
He didn't want to talk about it and doesn't normally speak on a game day anyway. That's always been a policy.
"When he's playing the right way, his talent is astronomical," said Gorges.
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