Senators welcome chance to play Canadiens in first round

TSN.ca Staff
4/29/2013 2:55:28 PM
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It is the only all-Canadian series in this year's post-season and the first time ever that the teams have met in the playoffs.

The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens open their first-round series in Montreal on Thursday, and the Senators can't wait to get it started.

"Parlez vous francais? I think it's going to be very exciting for the city of Ottawa and for our team," Sens head coach Paul MacLean said. "We are looking forward to it."

"It's going to be pretty tough not to be up for those games," echoed goalie Craig Anderson. "With the way Habs fans are and with the way our fans are it's just going to be one of those crazy settings that everyone is going to have the moment to get up."

"Obviously it's the playoffs; it's another level on top of that with the rivalry. It's just going to be an exciting series."

Montreal and Ottawa split four meetings this season, with each club winning once in regulation time and once in a shootout. They have not met in the playoffs since Ottawa rejoined the league for the 1992-93 season.

Sens forward Guillaume Latendresse played three-plus years in Montreal, and knows both sides of the rivalry.

"I have been in the playoffs with Montreal so it's going to be something fun," said Latendresse. The 25-year-old began his career in Montreal and also spent time with the Minnesota Wild before signing with Ottawa in the off-season.

"Montreal is one crazy town in playoffs so it's going to be a lot of fun for everybody. I think we have to make sure we get everything from that series because it's going to be a hard battle but it's going to be fun."

The Sens know however, that aside from all the fun and excitement, there is still a series to be played against a tough opponent. They feel they are ready and in a good place to improve upon their run in last year's playoffs – where they lost in seven games to the New York Rangers.

"Things are definitely getting better, guys have got a little more experience here, guys coming back from injury are starting to play more," Anderson said. "We are just going to keep going and get better."

"We had a good run last year, defenceman Erik Karlsson said. "We took it to seven games and that gave us some great experience. Even though we are a pretty young team I think overall we have great experience. You know we are looking forward to this and we have been all season."

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