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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Senators

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (26-16-5) vs. SENATORS (21-18-8)

On Thursday, the Habs head to Ottawa to write the next chapter of their escalating rivalry against the Senators.

Last time out, the Canadiens were defeated by the New Jersey Devils by the score of 4-1 at the Bell Centre. Martin Brodeur turned aside 29 of 30 shots faced in perhaps his final outing in his hometown, and helped his team avoid being swept by the Habs in their three-game season series. Max Pacioretty picked up the lone goal for the Habs, lightning the lamp for the 20th time of the year in the first period. Jaromir Jagr, Eric Gelinas, Adam Henrique and Dainius Zubrus replied for the visiting team.

Meanwhile, the red-hot Senators shut out the Wild by a score of 3-0 in Minnesota. Ottawa, who has not lost in regulation time since the final week of 2013, got power play goals from Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris, plus an even-strength marker from Erik Condra. Robin Lehner stopped all 27 shots faced to post his second career shutout. Ottawa shut down former Sens Dany Heatley, who had just a single shot on net in 17:36 of ice time.

Despite still ranking 25th in the league in goals against (146 allowed in 47 games), the Senators are 6-0-1 in their past seven games thanks to their surging offense led by Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan. The team has scored three goals or more in six of those seven games. While Karlsson and Ryan pace the Ottawa attack with 43 and 37 points respectively, coach Paul MacLean is also getting contributions from Kyle Turris (37P in 47GP), Clarke MacArthur (34P in 46 GP) and Jason Spezza (12P in 12GP).

The Senators should ice a full roster for Thursday’s game minus Chris Neil, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, the Habs will have to do without Alex Galchenyuk and Ryan White. David Desharnais missed Tuesday’s game with the flu and is day-to-day.

Thursday’s game will be the third of five meetings between the clubs this season. On Jan. 4, 2014, Daniel Briere had two goals and one assist, but the Senators won 4-3 at the Bell Centre on the strength of a Clarke MacArthur power play goal in overtime.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.

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