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Canadiens vs. Senators: Game Five — Thread, lines, & tale of the tape

The Habs get another chance to wrap up the series.

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

The number 5 is a prime number in mathematics. In geometry, it is classified as a Fermat Prime, a "regular polygon". In the mystical language of numerology, the number 5 can represent a number of things, including the quintessence of elements, the "fifth element" that links earth, wind, water and fire.

Should the Habs not "plead the fifth" in tonight's game, as they seemed to do Wednesday night in Ottawa, the Canadiens will be the second team to eliminate their first round opponent and advance to the second round. But not  so fast! The Ottawa Senators have been able to adjust to a style of play that gave the Habs a lot of trouble in in game 4, out-possessing the Canadiens with a  60 CF%, and out-shooting the Habs 12-7 in the 3rd period when Mike Hoffman scored the only goal of the game.

For the Habs, the message coming from the team even as early as right after the loss on Wednesday: stick to the plan. Up 3-1 in the series, the Canadiens don't see any reason to panic, and instead base their seizure of the series victory on better execution of the game plan and playing their best game of the series.

With home-ice advantage, the Canadiens will be able to use the last change to improve the match-ups for their forwards, as Erik Karlsson and Mark Methot were extremely effective in game 4 when the duo were +32 CF (Karlsson at +26), compared to P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov who were +11 CF. In fact in looking at game 4 individual performances, no Sens player was any less than -10 CF, whereas the Canadiens had 5 players who were on the ice for 10 more shots against than for, including Tom Gilbert (-26) and Alexei Emelin (-19) who were trapped in the defensive zone a number of times, including on the game winning goal.

With no changes coming from the Habs' side and the focal point of victory being pointed to as a question of "execution", the swing of change will have to come from the environment, from the game being in Montreal, from the crowd, from the concern of giving the Senators even more life in this series. A little pressure on the executioner may provide the push to cut through this series and advance, though the Senators have been a team surviving by the skin of its neck for a long time.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST. No changes for the Habs. The Senators have removed Chris Neil from the lineup and replaced him with Alex Chiasson.

In Canada (English): CBC
In Canada (French):  TVA Sports
In the United States: CNBC
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter Live

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Alex Galchenyuk Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Max Pacioretty David Desharnais Devante Smith-Pelly
Jacob de la Rose Lars Eller Dale Weise
Brandon Prust Torrey Mitchell Brian Flynn
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Jeff Petry Tom Gilbert
Alexei Emelin Greg Pateryn
Carey Price
Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Mike Weaver, Manny Malholtra,  Sergei Gonchar,  P.A. Parenteau
Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)

Ottawa Senators Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Clarke MacArthur Kyle Turris Mark Stone
Milan Michalek Mika Zibanejad Bobby Ryan
Erik Condra Jean-Gabriel Pageau Curtis Lazar
Mike Hoffman Zach Smith Alex Chiasson
Left Defense
Right Defense
Marc Methot Erik Karlsson
Patrick Wiercioch Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki Eric Gryba
Craig Anderson
Andrew Hammond

Scratched: David Legwand, Colin Greening, Jared Cowen, Chris Neil
Injuries: Robin Lehner (concussion), Chris Phillips (undisclosed), Matt Puempel (lower-body)

Check out the enemy over at Silver Seven.