The Canadiens-Senators series may not be the playoff matchup you were hoping for, but Tomas Plekanec predicts it will be a compelling one.

“It’s a Canadian matchup. We’re two hours away from each other. ... A lot of fans on both sides are going to be at the games,” Plekanec said after the Habs’ practice Tuesday in Brossard.

“It’s going to be an exciting series.”

Coach Michel Therrien wasn’t available to the media on Tuesday, as the Canadiens prepared for their first-round series that kicks off Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

All but one of the four games between the Habs and Sens during the regular season was decided by one goal.

“They have a great system and they’re all on board with playing the same way,” Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said. “I think we play very similar to them. We grind teams out for 60 minutes and that’s the only way we have success.

“We know it’s going to be a lot of close games, a lot of low-scoring games, hopefully, and it’s not going to be easy.”

The Senators play a tight-checking system and managed to make the playoffs despite a slew of injuries that knocked goaltender Craig Anderson and defenceman Erik Karlsson out of the lineup during the shortened season. The Senators are still without Jason Spezza, their leading point-getter last season, who had back surgery at the end of January.

When you look at the Senators and how they’ve played this year and last, Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges said: “You have to expect 20 guys to be working extremely hard, but together.”

Gorges added: “They’ve got good players that can make plays. They’ve got physical players that can bang the body around. But it seems to me that their success has always come from playing a good, hard team game.

“This team waits for you to make mistakes, waits for you to get frustrated. We’ve got to be smart. We’ve got to be patient. We’ve got to — no matter what happens — stick to our game plan.

“It’s going to be one of those long, hard, drawn-out series (where) we’ve got to stay resilient.”

One of the interesting side angles to the Habs-Sens matchup is that both teams have young, star defencemen. P.K. Subban, 23, is in the running for this year’s Norris Trophy, which the 22-year-old Karlsson won last year. Inevitably, their names came up on Tuesday in media scrums after team practices in suburban Ottawa and Brossard.

“There are definitely differences,” Senators tough-guy Chris Neil said. “One guy has won a Norris, one guy hasn’t.”