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Hockey Night In Canada

Playoffs 2013Sens, Habs bring back 'old-time hockey'

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 | 08:58 PM

Categories: Hockey Night in Canada, MTL vs OTT, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Playoffs 2013

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Senators forward Chris Neil, left, and Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban have been part of a physical first-round series. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) Senators forward Chris Neil, left, and Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban have been part of a physical first-round series. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

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Craig Anderson, who had the best seat in the house Sunday night, thought the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens had turned back the clock.
OTTAWA -- Craig Anderson, who had the best seat in the house Sunday night, thought the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens had turned back the clock.

"I was thinking Eddie Shore," said Anderson. "Old-time hockey."

He's got that right. The Senators and Habs turned up the heat in this first-round playoff series during a 6-1 victory in Game 3 when they combined for 236 minutes in penalties.

The Senators have pulled out to a 2-1 lead in the series with Game 4 set for Tuesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET) at Scotiabank Place.

So, will it boil over, again?

"There's a lot of emotion and lot of intensity," said Habs' defenceman P.K. Subban.

The Habs and Senators are both trying to stay on an even keel. In the case of Montreal players, they're trying not to make the situation worse than it is. A victory and the Habs are heading home tied 2-2 with home-ice advantage.

"Our focus is winning," Subban said. "We want to win. I want to win. We want to go back to Montreal 2-2, that's the game plan.

"This is the playoffs, nothing else matters. I don't care what you guys think about what's being said or who's saying what, it doesn't matter. We're playing hockey, we're playing for the Stanley Cup, we want to win."

The Senators are attempting to keep level heads as well.

"We just came in and reviewed some bad things we did in the game and some good things that we did," said coach Paul MacLean. "We just reiterated to the players that we haven't accomplished anything, nothing.

"All we've done is win two games. The hardest part is yet to come. We know, and we've talked about, the fact [Thursday] is going to be even harder. That's what keeps us on an even keel. We understand it's going to be harder."

Therrien yet to cool off

Coach Michel Therrien hadn't quite cooled off. He tried to send a message to the league that the Senators were targeting players like rookie Brendan Gallagher and Subban.

"In Gallagher's case, he's a little player who plays big. The thing I'm realizing is he's coming in for a lot of abuse at the moment. A lot of abuse," said Therrien. "You go back and watch the game, there's blows to the head, elbows being thrown, they're paying particular attention to him, but good grief, is he getting abused.

"He drew penalties by his style of play, by going to the net, but I can tell you that he should be getting a lot more calls than he has. If Brendan Gallagher is dropping the gloves, it's because he's getting abused.

"P.K. Subban dropping the gloves, it's because he's getting abused. There comes a time where the player wants to take matters into his own hands because he's had enough. [Sunday] we saw a fair bit of that."

Sens won't stop physical play

Whether Therrien's message gets through to the officials remains to be seen. The Senators don't plan to be any less physical in Game 4 because it worked so well Sunday.

"Both teams play hard," said winger Chris Neil. "There's been a lot of hard hits, a lot of physical play and I think we're going to see more of that in Game 4. It's just a matter of who responds well to it. Game 1 we did, Game 2 they did and Game 3 we did.

"We want to win again and take it to them again like we did in Game 3. We have to be physical and disciplined at the same time. It's been [fun] to be part of this series so far."

Gryba returns

Defenceman Patrick Wiercioch, who suffered an upper body injury, won't be available to play but Eric Gryba has served his two-game suspension for hitting Lars Eller in Game 1 and will be back. In this series, he could be targeted.

"I'm going to come back and be prepared," said Gryba. "It's a physical series, it's an emotional series and everything is escalating quickly. It should be fun to play.

"The rivalry is growing every single game. It's good for the team and good for the fans."

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