Ottawa Senators Will Need Home Success To Continue In Playoffs

Senators Team Paul MacLean

Jean-Yves Ahern – USA TODAY Sports

After a great effort in the first game of their series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators were outplayed at both ends of the ice in game two. As the series shifts back to Ottawa Saturday night, the Senators will have a great chance to re-take the lead in the series if they can create the kinds of offensive chances they did in the first game. The Senators had a great record at home during the regular season, and will hope that success carries over into the playoffs.

The Senators were unable to make the most of the Canadiens not having Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty or Brian Gionta in the lineup on Friday. It remains to be seen if Pacioretty or Gionta will return to the lineup on Saturday, but the Senators will be making at least one roster adjustment. Rookie Cory Conacher will be back after sitting out game two, as head coach Paul MacLean looks to get more from his forwards. Youngsters Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad each have two points, and so do defensemen Marc Methot and Erik Karlsson. Daniel Alfredsson has managed only one assist in the first two games, and the Senators could definitely use a little more from him.

The Senators were 15-6-3 at home this season, but that edge may not be as big of a positive as it looks like on paper. The Canadiens have always had strong fan support in Ottawa, and had the fourth-best road record (15-7-2) in the league this season.

 Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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