SENATORS (30-24-11) @ CANADIENS (42-18-7)
The Canadiens and Senators meet for the final time this season on Thursday at the Bell Centre.
The Habs won the first duel between the two teams 4-1 at home in December, before dropping the next two on the road in January (4-1) and February (4-2). Although Dustin Tokarski made the last two starts in the nation’s capital, Carey Price should be back in goal for Montreal on Thursday.
Price has registered 17 wins in 29 career starts opposite the Senators.
Head coach Michel Therrien also confirmed that Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau will be back in the lineup after sitting out the last four games as a healthy scratch. Parenteau will form a line with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk, while Brian Flynn will not be in uniform.
On the other side of the ice, the Senators are currently in the thick of a battle for the East’s final playoff spot thanks in large part to the play of goaltender Andrew Hammond, who has been outstanding since being called up from the AHL in February.
Hammond has registered a 7-0-1 record in nine games since making his first career NHL start against the Canadiens on February 18, stopping 42 shots on his way to the first of five consecutive wins.
Back from a six-week absence due to injury however, starting goaltender Craig Anderson has been in goal for Ottawa’s last two games. On Tuesday, Anderson allowed three goals on 22 shots in a 3-1 loss to the Bruins which allowed Boston to take a seven-point hold on the East’s final playoff spot.
Also one point back of the Panthers, the Senators nevertheless hold a game in hand over both divisional rivals.
Hammond will be back between the pipes for the Sens on Thursday.