Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Senators Look to Shed Underdog Label When They Take on Rival Canadiens

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Senators Look to Shed Underdog Label When They Take on Rival Canadiens

Article excerpt

Senators say they match up well with Habs

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OTTAWA - Pardon the Ottawa Senators if they don't feel like underdogs heading into their first-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens.

While the Canadiens finished the season atop the Atlantic Division and will be considered the favourites when the series kicks off Wednesday night at Bell Centre, the Senators finished on an impressive 23-4-4 run to surge into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

With that kind of momentum going into the post-season, Senators head coach David Cameron was understandably confident about his team's chances of advancing to the next round.

"I expect to win (the series)," Cameron said. "I'm sure the guys in the room expect to win it. I'm sure Montreal expects to win it. I would be really disappointed going into a playoff series if we didn't expect to win it. I would be shocked."

Recent head-to-head examples back up Cameron's claim. Seventh-seeded Ottawa knocked off No. 2 Montreal in five games in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.

And the Senators matched up well against the Canadiens this year winning the season series 3-1, but it should be noted two of those wins came against backup goaltender Dustin Tokarski instead of Hart Trophy candidate Carey Price.

The Senators relied heavily on the goaltending of rookie Andrew Hammond down the stretch. Hammond, who finished the season with an impressive 20-1-2 record, will be making his Stanley Cup playoff debut.

"My approach is just going to stay the same," Hammond said. "At the end of the day we feel like we've been playing playoff hockey for a while now. We've been playing a lot of close games and our approach has gotten us this far and I'm no different, so I don't see the point in really changing things."

Throughout their late run the Senators had a number of different players contributing, but no line was more impressive than the trio of Clarke MacArthur, Kyle Turris and Mark Stone. …

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