Thursday, April 20, 2017

{allcanada} Senators refuse to think ahead against Bruins


BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have never won any of the 22 Stanley Cup Playoff series they have trailed 3-1, but Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher said Thursday he isn't interested in that fact.

The Senators have a 3-1 lead in this best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series and can eliminate the Bruins by winning Game 5 at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, NESN).

"Oh my goodness, history, I couldn't care less about history," Boucher said at the Ritz-Carlton on Thursday before leaving for Ottawa. "History is different people at different times at different circumstances. So for us it's all about us right now against the Bruins. They've been a great opponent all year long, we're expecting nothing less the next game. We're expecting a one-goal game, an overtime and really we're just focusing on the first 10 minutes of the next game."

The Senators' 1-0 win in Game 4 on Wednesday was their third straight win and the fourth straight one-goal game in the series. The Senators also won two 4-3 overtime games in Game 2 and 3. Ottawa has defeated Boston seven out of eight times this season, including a four-game sweep in the regular season.

In addition to getting outstanding individual performances from defenseman Erik Karlsson (five assists) and forward Bobby Ryan (three goals, two assists), the Senators have managed to stick to their system and be patient throughout much of the series. When they've veered off the path, they've quickly corrected themselves.

Now one win from advancing to the Eastern Conference Second Round, the Senators are trying to avoid being overexuberant.

"It's important [to finish the series] but you're not thinking, 'Oh, we have to do this,' " Ottawa center Kyle Turris said. "I mean, we're just going into next game just thinking the same way we have all series, just playing our system, trying to limit what they get and score on the opportunities we do get to kind of give us a chance. If it doesn't happen next game, we're going to do the same thing the game after that. So we won't get frustrated, but we do realize there's urgency involved."

The Senators are relatively healthy. Defenseman Mark Borowiecki (lower body) has missed the past two games and remains day-to-day. Forward Tom Pyatt sustained an upper-body injury in Game 4 and also is day-to-day, according to Boucher.

Being almost at full strength for an elimination game is important, but if Boucher has his way, his players won't even recognize the Senators can end the Bruins' season in the next game.

"I never see them as elimination games. And that's my experience," Boucher said. "When I start thinking of that, that's when guys get nervous, they get anxious, they want to overdo things, they want to get things done right away, in the first five minutes. And you get totally lost in that kind of excitement.

"So for me, we're going to play another game and it's going to be another one-goal game and it's going to be extremely hard and they're going to be at their most desperate. They were desperate [Wednesday] and they're going to be even more desperate the next game. So we have to be extremely aware and prepared."

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