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At the Rink: Senators at Canadiens

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski will make his second straight start, against the Ottawa Senators, at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Tokarski made 26 saves in his first start of the season in Montreal's 3-2 loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien explained his decision to go with Tokarski against Ottawa instead of rookie Mike Condon, who started the previous six games after Carey Price aggravated a lower-body injury on Nov. 25.

"I felt that [Tokarski] played a very good game against Detroit," Therrien said after the morning skate at Montreal's suburban practice facility. "He's a guy who needs to play. We sent him to the American [Hockey] League because he hadn't played much and we loved his game."

Condon, who has lost three straight, beat out Tokarski for the opportunity to back up Price with a strong showing in training camp and preseason games.

Tokarski was 2-3-1 with a 3.20 GAA and a .900 save percentage in eight games with St. John's of the AHL. He was 6-6-4 with a 2.75 goals-against-average and a .910 save percentage in 17 games, including 16 starts, with the Canadiens last season.

Craig Anderson will make his 14th consecutive start for Ottawa, which won 2-1 in overtime at Montreal on Nov. 3 to even the season series at one win apiece.

Senators center Kyle Turris scored on Condon 34 seconds into overtime after Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored in regulation.

Pageau has scored two of Ottawa's three goals against the Canadiens.

"I don't think there's any words to explain that, it's just always a good motivation," Pageau said. "I have a lot of buddies who cheer for the Habs and that just gives me maybe that little push when I need it to give that second effort. It's exciting and the fans are really loud and I just try to play my best. I always get texts the night before and game day to chirp me a little bit, but that's when I think I get a little extra motivation to beat the Habs so I can chirp them back."

Here are the projected lineups:


Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Zack Smith - Mika Zibanejad - Mark Stone

Dave Dziurzynski - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Alex Chiasson

Mark Borowiecki - Curtis Lazar - Chris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Jared Cowen - Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Chris Driedger

Injured: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Milan Michalek (finger)

Scratched: Shane Prince


Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Paul Byron

Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Dale Weise

Tomas Fleischmann - David Desharnais - Daniel Carr

Charles Hudon - Brian Flynn - Sven Andrighetto

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert

Dustin Tokarski

Mike Condon

Injured: Carey Price (lower body), Brendan Gallagher (hand), Torrey Mitchell (lower body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)

Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Christian Thomas

Status report: Prince is a healthy scratch for a third consecutive game. Beaulieu returns after he was left out of the lineup Thursday. "I had time to think and regroup," Beaulieu said. "Obviously, my play hasn't been up to standards so they gave me a night off to think about it." … Tinordi has yet to play this season.

Who's hot: Ryan, who has assists in consecutive games, has 24 points in his past 22 games (eight goals, 16 assists) … Stone has four assists in two games … Andrighetto has scored in two of his past three games … Carr has a goal and an assist through his first three NHL games.

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