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Canadiens-Senators Preview @NHL
Canadiens-Senators Preview

GAME: Montreal Canadiens (14-6-4) at Ottawa Senators (18-3-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Ottawa Senators try for their sixth straight win and some breathing room atop the Northeast Division as they play the Montreal Canadiens.

Despite having won 10 of their last 11 games, owning a perfect 11-0-0 mark against division rivals and leading the NHL in goals scored (100) and fewest goals allowed (45), the Senators have just a four-point lead over the Canadiens in the Northeast. Ottawa, though, does have three games in hand on Montreal.

The Senators defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2 Saturday and have scored 24 goals during its five-game winning streak.

Jason Spezza had two goals and two assists for his second career four-point game while linemates Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson each had a goal and two assists.

Heatley needed only 34 seconds to extend his points streak to 21 games, assisting on Spezza's first goal. Heatley is the only NHL player to register a point in every one of his team's games this season.

Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley all rank in the top five in points in the league.

"We read off each other well," Spezza said. "It may look like we plan things but a lot of times it's criss-crossing and finding the holes. Nobody's selfish with the puck and I think that's what makes us a good line. We move the puck well and nobody cares who scores the goals."

Alfredsson has four goals and 13 assists in an 11-game points streak against Montreal at home. The Senators right wing has 54 points against Montreal in his career, his most against any opponent.

Goaltender Dominik Hasek has the best goals-against average in the league (1.92), allowing two or fewer goals in seven of his last eight games.

Since the start of the 2000-01 season, though, Hasek is 2-3-0 against Montreal with a 3.22 GAA and .880 save percentage. Hasek has not started against the Canadiens since Oct. 20, 2003, when he played for the Detroit Red Wings.

Backup goaltender Ray Emery started both games against the Canadiens this year and is 2-0-0 with a 2.44 GAA and .915 save percentage.

The Canadiens have been outscored 19-10 in losing four of their last five games.

Montreal is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss Saturday to the Toronto Maple Leafs in which it rallied twice to tie the game. The Canadiens have a league-high 12 one-goal victories but also have three overtime defeats to go with a shootout loss.

Center Saku Koivu, who leads the team with 26 points, has just one assist in his last four games.

Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore is 2-8-0 in his last 10 games against Ottawa and has allowed eight goals in the two losses to the Senators this season.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 28): Canadiens - 32 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Northeast Division. Senators - 36 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canadiens - Michael Ryder, 10 goals; Koivu, 18 assists and 26 points; Steve Begin, 51 PIM. Senators - Alfredsson, 19 goals; Spezza, 29 assists; Alfredsson and Spezza, 39 points; Brian McGrattan, 58 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 28): Canadiens - Power play: 19 percent (29 for 152), 10th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.1 percent (129 for 159), 21st. Senators - Power play: 21.6 percent (29 for 134), 6th. Penalty killing: 86.2 percent (119 for 138), 3rd.

GOALTENDERS: Canadiens - Theodore (11-4-4, 0 SO, 2.97 GAA); Christobal Huet (0-0-0, 0, 0.00). Senators - Hasek (13-3-0, 3, 1.92); Emery (5-0-0, 0, 2.78).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 27; Senators, 4-3, OT. At Ottawa, Spezza scored 2:48 into overtime to give the Senators their seventh win in the first eight games of the season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canadiens - 6-2-3 on the road; Senators - 10-2-0 at home.

Associated Press
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