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Canadiens, Senators set to meet for third time

by Eric Goodman

CANADIENS (12-4-2) at SENATORS (11-6-2)


Last 10: Montreal 6-2-2; Ottawa 6-3-1

Season series: This is the third of four meetings between these Northeast Division rivals. Each team won once on its respective home ice earlier this season.

Big story: The Senators are heating up with four straight wins and can tie the Northeast-leading Canadiens in points with a regulation win at home Monday. The Canadiens will have forward Max Pacioretty in the lineup as the NHL Department of Player Safety decided Sunday that his boarding penalty on the New York Rangers' Ryan McDonagh Saturday night would not warrant any supplemental discipline.

Team Scope:

Canadiens: Montreal seeks to extend its road winning streak to four games and its road points streak to five as it visits Scotiabank Place Monday. And while the scoring from the line of Lars Eller, Erik Cole and rookie Alex Galchenyuk was all the team needed to defeat the Rangers at home Saturday, it will seek a more balanced attack in Ottawa. Each member of the line centered by Eller tallied a goal in the 3-0 home win against New York.

The Canadiens have maintained a respectable 18.6 percent conversion rate on the power play this season, but they face a tough penalty-killing unit at Ottawa, as the Senators were second in the NHL as of Sunday with a 88.7 success rate on the kill.

Senators: Ottawa tries to extend its overall winning streak to a club season-high five games and it also seeks to remain perfect on its current homestand, as Monday marks the last of four straight games played at Scotiabank Place. And while the Senators aren't exactly blowing away the competion, they are continuing to rack up all-important points in the Eastern Conference while missing key injured players, including forwards Jason Spezza (back) and Milan Michalek (knee), defenseman Erik Karlsson (achilles) and goalie Craig Anderson (sprained right ankle).

The Senators showed little sign that the rash of injuries are affecting much in a 3-2 win over the rival Maple Leafs Saturday as a trio of younger players stepped up to assume the scoring role. Forward Colin Greening had three points against Toronto, including the game-winning goal in the closing seconds of regulation. Greening's goal and two assists couldn't have come at a better time as the winger is trying to prove to coach Paul MacLean that he belongs in the lineup after he was a healthy scratch on February 16 at Toronto. 19-year-old forward Mika Zibanejad, who was a healthy scratch last Tuesday against the Islanders, and Erik Condra added two points each Saturday.

Who's hot: Galchenyuk has two goals and two assists over his last four games for Montreal. ... Greening is riding a three-game point streak for Ottawa with two goals and three assists over that span.

Injury report: Canadiens rookie Brendan Gallagher returned to the lineup Saturday after sitting out the last three games due to a concussion, but left wing Rene Bourque missed the game with flu-like symptoms. Center Petteri Nokelainen (back) is on injured reserve. ... For Ottawa, the Spezza, Karlsson and Michalek injuries are considered long-term, while Anderson is day-to-day. Defenseman Jared Cowen (hip) and forwards Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash) and Peter Regin (upper body) remain on injured reserve for the Senators.

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