Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Sens #1
North of 49: The postseason date with Ottawa marks the first time the Canadiens have faced off against a Canadian squad in the playoffs since 1993, dating back to a first-round matchup with the Quebec Nordiques. The Nords won the first two games at the Colisee before Jacques Demers’ troops came storming back with four straight wins to clinch the series – and an eventual 24th Stanley Cup a few rounds later.
Home, Sweet Home!: For the 75th time in franchise history, the Canadiens will start a best-of-seven series on home ice, which has really proven to be an advantage for the Habs in the past. In those series, the Canadiens have won the first game in front of the Montreal faithful 61 times, winning 60 of those 74 series over the years.
First Time for Everything: The Canadiens will face the reincarnated Senators for the first time since NHL hockey returned to the nation’s capital in 1992. In 20 first time meetings with a new playoff adversary throughout their history, the Habs have won the series 13 times.
Firepower Aplenty: Boasting 10 players with 20 or more points in 2012-13 – six of whom have also surpassed the 30-point mark this season – the Canadiens had the third-most explosive offense in the league this season, with 149 goals for. Led by Kyle Turris’ 29-point haul this year, the Sens had just five players pick up 20 or more points, combining for 116 goals during the lockout-shortened campaign, the lowest among the 16 teams participating in the 2013 postseason.
Dynamic Duo: Sitting third and fourth in the NHL, respectively, for power play points, P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov also lead all NHL defensemen in points with the man advantage. Accounting for 15 of the Canadiens’ 42 power play goals this season, the two Habs blue-liners racked up a combined 49 points on the PP. With the league’s 20th ranked power play in 2012-13, the Senators don’t have a single player in the Top 60 in the NHL with the man advantage.
Tale of the tape
First round schedule
Top 25 - Best photos in 2012-13