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Canadiens-Senators Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Montreal Canadiens (7-2-0) at Ottawa Senators (6-1-0).

TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.

When Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery takes his position in the net against the Montreal Canadiens, things will look pretty familiar.

Emery makes his second start of the season, and second against Montreal, when the Senators host the Canadiens.

Emery was in goal when the Senators met Montreal on Oct. 11, and made 29 saves to lead Ottawa to a 4-2 victory that also handed the Canadiens their first loss after a 3-0 start.

After the Senators saw their own six-game winning streak to open the season end with a 3-2 loss to Carolina on Monday, coach Bryan Murray decided to sit Dominik Hasek and put Emery back in net for this contest.

"We're probably not going to win 82 games, but I didn't like the way we lost (against Carolina)," Murray said.

In the first three minutes of the game, the Senators jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Patrick Eaves and Jason Spezza. But the Hurricanes scored three unanswered goals and Ottawa couldn't solve Carolina goaltender Martin Gerber, who finished with 44 saves.

"Do you want to lose 5-1 or 3-2 in a tough game? Either way, it's a loss," Senators center Bryan Smolinski said. "We put them on their heels real quick, but they stormed back."

Ottawa will get some help against the Canadiens with the return of Mike Fisher, who missed four games with a shoulder injury. Fisher will move to left wing and play on a line with Smolinski and Daniel Alfredsson.

While Ottawa looks to rebound, Montreal is hoping to improve on the best start in the team's 88-year history. The Canadiens improved to 7-2 with their third straight win, 3-2 in overtime over Philadelphia on Tuesday.

After tying the game at 2-2 midway through the third period, Mike Ribeiro scored his second goal of the game 2:28 into overtime as Montreal improved to 4-0 on the road.

"We knew they were one of the best teams and we needed to be ready right off the bat," Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore said. "I think we played a really big period in the first. After that, we just kept playing hard and we got the winner."

Montreal center Radek Bonk will be facing his former team for the first time. Bonk spent his first 10 seasons with Ottawa and amassed 399 points before leaving the Senators in a three-way deal with the Los Angeles Kings following the 2003-04 season.

STANDINGS: Canadiens - 14 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Senators - 12 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canadiens - Ribeiro, Saku Koivu and Michael Ryder, 4 goals; Alexei Kovalev, 8 assists and 10 points; Mike Komisarek, 19 PIM. Senators - Alfredsson, 6 goals; Spezza, 8 assists and 12 points; Chris Neil, 29 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Canadiens - Power play: 17.4 percent (11 for 63), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (55 for 66), 15th. Senators - Power play: 20.4 percent (9 for 44), 6th. Penalty killing: 89.8 percent (44 for 49), 4th.

GOALTENDERS: Canadiens - Theodore (6-2-0, 2.87 GAA); Yann Danis (1-0-0, 1 SO, 0.00). Senators - Emery (1-0-0, 2.00); Hasek (5-1-0, 1, 1.95).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 11; Senators, 4-2. At Montreal, Alfredsson scored twice and Antoine Vermette notched the game-winner 2:58 into the third period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canadiens - 4-0-0 on the road; Senators - 3-0-0 at home.

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