NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 16th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (26-16-5) at Ottawa Senators (21-18-8), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Ottawa Senators will try to gain some ground
on an Atlantic Division rival as they welcome the Montreal Canadiens for
Thursday's clash at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Senators have been playing their best hockey of the season lately,
registering six wins during a seven-game point streak. Ottawa recently wrapped
a four-game road trip with consecutive wins to post a 3-0-1 record on the
Ottawa enters Thursday tied with Detroit for fifth in the Atlantic and is
seven points in back of Montreal, which currently holds the third of the
division's three automatic playoff spots.
The Sens have won the first two of five scheduled meetings with the Habs this
season and recently picked up a 4-3 overtime win in Montreal on Jan. 4.
Clarke MacArthur notched the OT game-winner with a power-play goal, lifting
Ottawa to its third win in the last four meetings against the Habs.
The Canadiens have lost four straight games in Ottawa.
Robin Lehner helped Ottawa cap its recent trip with a win, as he stopped 27
shots to record his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the
Kyle Turris posted a goal and assist, while MacArthur and Erik Condra also lit
the lamp. Erik Karlsson added two assists for the Senators.
Ottawa, which is 11-10-4 in Canada's capital city this season, is playing two
straight on home ice before heading out on another four-game road trip. The
Sens will host the New York Rangers on Saturday before beginning their swing
Tuesday in Washington.
Montreal, meanwhile, is beginning a four-game road trip tonight and hopes to
get back on the right track during the swing. The Canadiens have lost two of
three and five of their last eight tilts and they recently split a two-game
The Habs beat Chicago 2-1 in overtime on Saturday before dropping a 4-1
decision Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils. The Canadiens jumped out to a
1-0 lead against the Devils, but then watched as the visitors scored four
Max Pacioretty scored his 20th goal of the season for the Canadiens, while
Carey Price surrendered three goals on just 18 shots.
"It's just that they find ways to clear pucks and find ways to block shots,"
Pacioretty said. "They play as a group for 60 minutes. Jersey prides itself on
playing games like that."
The Canadiens played Tuesday without forward David Desharnais, who is battling
illness and is questionable for tonight's game.
Montreal has lost three of its last four games on the road, but is 12-8-2 as
the visiting team this season.
Price expects to start in net for the Habs on Thursday and he is 14-6-4 with a
2.22 goals against average in his career against the Senators. Ottawa No. 1
goaltender Craig Anderson is 6-6-1 lifetime with a 2.83 GAA versus Montreal,
while Lehner is 1-0-1 with a 1.85 GAA in two career starts in this matchup.
01/16 10:52:49 ET