Preview and Prediction for Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators Playoff Series

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Preview and Prediction for Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators Playoff Series
Claus Andersen/Getty Images
Michael Ryder has been a clutch scorer with the Montreal Canadiens.

All of Canada may have wanted to see the Montreal Canadiens meet the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs, but that's not going to happen.

Instead, they will get to see a different all-Canadian matchup as the Northeast Division champion Montreal Canadiens will meet the plucky and gutsy Ottawa Senators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Both teams had remarkable regular seasons for varying reasons. The Canadiens were the last-place team in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12, and they went through a changing of the guard in the offseason. Marc Bergevin took over as general manager and new head coach Michel Therrien brought discipline and accountability to the team.

The Canadiens played solid defense and combined that with timely scoring throughout the majority of the season. They slipped in the final weeks but did enough to win the division.

The Senators were tormented by serious injuries throughout the season, but they never lost faith or intensity under head coach Paul MacLean. The most serious injury was a partially torn Achilles tendon suffered by Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson, but he made an amazing recovery and returned to action in the final week of the regular season.

These two teams could push each other to the limit, and a seven-game series would not be a surprise.

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