Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
Ottawa
Senators
Montréal
Canadiens
SO
37 SOG
26 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
OTT ()
MTL ()
game preview

Sens head to Montreal to face Habs

Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 6:02 PM

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

SENATORS (36-25-9) at CANADIENS (27-32-11)

TV
: RDS (HD), TSN

Last 10: Ottawa 6-3-1; Montreal 3-6-1

Season Series: This is the fourth of six season meetings, and the first of a back-to-back. Despite their last-place standing in the Eastern, Montreal holds a 2-0-1 edge over Ottawa, but both of those wins came away from the Bell Centre. In the only meeting in the Habs' building, on Jan. 14, the Senators prevailed in a shootout, 3-2, on Daniel Alfredsson's conversion.

Big Story: Montreal and Ottawa have been on nearly identical runs of late – both teams won two straight before losing post-regulation to Buffalo in their last outing – but the more important stat comes in the conference standings. The Senators sit seventh, comfortably inside the playoff picture, and are looking to hedge the four-point gap between them and sixth-place New Jersey.

Team Scope:

Senators: Ottawa opened February in a rare offensive slump, scoring just three times in losses to Chicago and Florida. That changed last Tuesday in Tampa Bay, when Ottawa netted seven times in a blowout. On Thursday, the Senators returned home to beat the face the New York Rangers, 4-1. Ottawa gave up an early goal to Ryan Callahan, but scored four straight, dominating most of the contest. Saturday against Buffalo, however, Ottawa failed to finish. Up 3-2 with six minutes to go, Marcus Foligno equalized for the Sabres at 14:06. After a career game against the Rangers in which he stopped 25 of 26 shots, youngster Ben Bishop made 38 saves but lost a goaltending duel with Buffalo's Ryan Miller. With Craig Anderson still sidelined with a right-finger laceration, Bishop should make his fourth straight start.

"When Craig went down the uncertainty makes you cautious," Sens coach Paul MacLean said. "As a coach you like knowing, you don't like hoping. Right now we know we're going to get good goaltending and that makes us all feel a little better."

Canadiens: As a disappointing season winds down, Montreal has clearly resolved to fight until the end. The Habs went 2-1 on a three-game swing through Western Canada, including convincing wins over Edmonton and Vancouver. Montreal conceded first, but scored the next four – including two goals from Erik Cole – and Carey Price made 32 saves.

On Monday against Buffalo, the Sabres looked like it would be an easy, 2-1 regulation win. That is, until David Desharnais scored on a snap shot with five seconds left to send it into overtime. Tyler Myers’ wrist shot at 2:01 of overtime to snatch the two points from Montreal.

"There's no quit in this team," said backup Peter Budaj, who stopped 33 shots. "There's a lot of pride and a lot of commitment to the team, to the logo, to the organization and fans."

Who's Hot: It's a tale of two Erik's. Erik Karlsson has to be considered a finalist for the Norris Trophy. The blueliner scored twice against Buffalo and has 10 goals and 11 assists in his last 13 games. … Cole, meanwhile, has 3 goals and an assist in his last two games.

Injury Report: In addition to Anderson, Peter Regin (left-shoulder surgery) and Jesse Winchester (concussion) are also on IR. … For Montreal, Raphael Diaz (lower body), Mathieu Darche (dizziness/upper body), Travis Moen (upper body), Mike Blunden (knee surgery) and Brian Gionta (right biceps surgery) are on the IR.

Stat Pack: Ottawa has won six times in its last eight trips to the Bell Centre, and will have a wild card in the surprising Bishop. Unfortunately, Price has performed well against the Senators of late, going 6-1-1 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a shutout since the start of 2010-11.

Puck Drop: Veteran Habs defenseman Andrei Markov made his return against the Canucks, playing 17 minutes and assisting on P.K. Subban's power-play goal.
 
"He's a first-class player and he moves the puck so well," Habs goalie Carey Price said. "When we're breaking the puck out, he just has the confidence with it, and it makes a big difference. He's a big boost for us and he's pretty irreplaceable."

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 23 '12OTT 1 at MTL 5E. Cole
Mar 16 '12MTL 1 at OTT 2 - OTF. Kuba
Mar 14 '12OTT 2 at MTL 3 - SOD. Desharnais
Jan 14 '12OTT 3 at MTL 2 - SOD. Alfredsson
Dec 27 '11MTL 6 at OTT 2M. Cammalleri
Nov 04 '11MTL 2 at OTT 1A. Kostitsyn
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Spezza71294675+930102
E. Karlsson70195170+154235
M. Michalek66322052+320103
D. Alfredsson65222749+81272
N. Foligno71142741+09313
S. Gonchar6433033+04210
C. Greening71141731-53930
F. Kuba6252227+222031
C. Neil62111425-411620
Z. Smith70141024+48413
E. Condra7081523+102801
K. Turris4481220+82502
M. Gilroy6021618+21800
C. Phillips6941317+51431
J. Cowen7151116-13801
B. Butler526915+81204
K. Daugavins594610-41201
B. Lee35178-22700
J. Winchester28257+32200
Z. Konopka53325-417211
S. Da Costa22325-9800
J. O'Brien17224+6201
P. Regin10224+3200
D. Rundblad24134-11600
M. Carkner24112-32900
N. Filatov9011+1400
M. Zibanejad9011-3200
R. Klinkhammer5011+2000
M. Borowiecki2000-1200
A. Petersson1000+0000
M. Hoffman1000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Anderson5629-19-614816922.85.913
R. Lehner53-2-0101542.01.935
A. Auld142-4-2363103.35.884
B. Bishop42-0-291212.16.926
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Pacioretty68302858+15444
D. Desharnais70163955+102032
E. Cole71272552+114284
T. Plekanec70133245-204852
P. Subban7072532+38450
T. Kaberle7032831-191210
L. Eller68151126-44612
A. Kostitsyn53121224-81633
R. Bourque6517623-195631
M. Cammalleri3891322-61012
Y. Weber5641418-72640
T. Moen489716-34100
R. Diaz5931316-73001
B. Gionta318715-71620
J. Gorges7121113+93201
M. Darche615712-41800
S. Gomez382911-91421
L. Leblanc31358+01400
C. Campoli32268-4800
H. Gill53178-72900
A. Emelin58246-132400
P. Nokelainen48235-73301
B. Geoffrion30134+02100
M. Blunden28213-2900
J. Spacek12033+2200
A. Palushaj27022+0600
R. White14022-63600
F. St-Denis9101+1800
A. Markov3011-2200
B. Staubitz51000-610200
A. Engqvist12000-1400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Price6025-26-914817472.44.915
P. Budaj113-6-2323282.90.902