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Senators hoping to gain boost from 'seventh player'

With series tied, Ottawa aims to make most of home ice advantage against Rangers

Monday, 16.04.2012 / 3:17 PM / 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs
By Rob Brodie  -
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Senators hoping to gain boost from \'seventh player\'
Now it's the Sens Army's turn to make some noise.

After playing the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarter-final at always raucous Madison Square Garden, the Ottawa Senators now have their chance to feel the home-ice cheers as the series shifts to Scotiabank Place for the next two contests. Game 3 is tonight, while Game 4 goes on Wednesday (both 7:30 p.m., CBC, Team 1200).

While the Senators had a slightly better record on the road (21-14-6) than at home (20-17-4) during the regular season, head coach Paul MacLean — who fondly recalls the original 'whiteouts' that he saw at Winnipeg Arena during his playing days with the Jets in the 1980s — wouldn't rather be anywhere else than at Scotiabank Place tonight.

"We're looking forward to playing at home in Canada," said MacLean. "I haven't done that in a long, long time. "I'm looking forward to tonight and looking forward to it being real, real loud. It's an exciting time. The city's got a pulse to it and we're excited for the faceoff tonight."

So, too, are the Senators players.

"We hope to get an extra jump from our fans," said centre Jason Spezza. "We hope they can give us that inspirational lift and, hopefully, they show up and be loud. We started on the road and we've seen how loud it is in New York. If we can return the favour ... sometimes, it can sway games by having the fans behind you. We hope they can give us that jolt and we're excited about being home.

"We enjoy playing at home and we think our fans are going to be excited."

Added blueliner Erik Karlsson: "It's more fun to play here than away and we're looking forward to our first playoff game at home this year. Hopefully, the crowd will pump it up and get us going."

Never mind, too, that the Senators haven't won a home playoff contest since Game 3 of the 2007 Stanley Cup final. MacLean is convinced his team can get an edge from its fans tonight.

"It can be the seventh player and when things are going really good, it can help you with momentum," he said. "And they can help you get momentum back. We just want them to be Canadian hockey fans and enjoy the game."

Red Zone lights up for playoff home opener

If you're an early arrival for tonight's Game 3, you'll find plenty to do in the 'Red Zone' plaza in front of Gate 1 at Scotiabank Place. Open two hours before puck drop, it's also the place to be to experience the game if you don't have a ticket. Then head into either Bert's Bar or Frank Finnigan's to catch all the action.

The Red Zone also features face-painting and inflatable games for the kids, along with live bands performing on an outdoor stage. As well, the Team 1200 will broadcast its radio pre-game show from the area.

Molson Canadian Hockey House is a tented area in the Red Zone in which fans can enjoy pre-game entertainment, food and beverages. You'll also get the chance to meet some Senators Alumni one hour prior to puck drop.

For regular Red Zone updates throughout the playoffs, click here.




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06