Senators coach Paul McLean gets tough with lineup

Philadelphia Flyers' Jay Rosehill (37) shoves Ottawa Senators' Cory Conacher (89) during the first...

Philadelphia Flyers' Jay Rosehill (37) shoves Ottawa Senators' Cory Conacher (89) during the first period of their NHL ice hockey game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania April 11, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:20 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - Around this time of the year, Paul MacLean can be about as subtle as a punch in the face.

It was 362 nights earlier that the Senators coach responded to Brian Boyle's shot in the chops of Erik Karlsson during Game 1 of the playoffs by having all his best fighters on the ice for the opening draw of Game 2.

Matt Carkner beat up Boyle, the Senators rallied together and a couple of hours later, the series with the New York Rangers was tied 1-1.

Fast forward back to the present day. Whether it's because he's been fuming as the Senators have compiled loss after loss on this road trip -- or he was remembering how his team was manhandled in their last visit to Wells Fargo Center -- MacLean started Thursday's game with a newly created, no-nonsense line of Matt Kassian, Zack Smith and Chris Neil. He even surprised a few people by putting Robin Lehner, his toughest goalie, between the pipes.


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