NHL playoff hockey is full of four-letter words, but here’s the best one as far as the Ottawa Senators are concerned: Rest.

By eliminating the Montreal Canadiens from the first round in five games, the Senators have bought themselves the invaluable commodity of time to take care of their bumps and bruises before meeting their second round opponent.

“There’s no such thing as having too much time off, I don’t think,” said defenceman Marc Methot, whose solid opening round (one goal, four assists, +2, 18 hits and seven blocked shots) played a significant role in wearing down the Canadiens’ smaller forwards. “At this point in our careers, we’re pros, we know how to handle it. There are no distractions. We need the time off. Guys that are hurt can heal and guys who are tired can rest. So, it’s a good mix.”

If the Senators have a preference for a second round opponent, they certainly won’t say it publicly.

What is clear, however, is that they would like to see as much hitting as possible in Saturday’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. If the Penguins, leading the series 3-2, eliminate the Islanders, they will play the Senators.

If the Islanders win Saturday, however, the series will be extended to a seventh game on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will play Game 6 Sunday. If that series goes the distance, Game 7 will be played Monday.