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Preview: Canadiens at Senators

Goalie Carey Price starts for Montreal; Mike Condon likely to play for Ottawa

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

CANADIENS (39-23-8) at SENATORS (39-23-7)

7 p.m. ET; SN , TVA Sports, NHL.TV

 

Canadiens team scope

The Montreal Canadiens lead the Ottawa Senators by one point for first place in the Atlantic Division and play the first half of a back-to-back Saturday. The teams play at Bell Centre on Sunday. "You listen to the fans, you feel your team and the people surrounding it and it's an exciting weekend," coach Claude Julien said. "There's no doubt we all know first place is in play, but also when you play back-to-back any time during the year, there's always something that follows from the first game. It seems like it's a mini-series. At this stage of the year there's a little bit more at stake right now. There's no doubt there's excitement here. I think we should all be excited about this weekend series. It's going to be a lot of fun." The Canadiens are 8-4-0 since Julien replaced Michel Therrien on Feb. 14 and 7-2-0 in their past nine games. Goaltender Carey Price will start; he's 6-1-0 with nine goals against in his past seven starts.

 

Senators team scope

Backup goaltender Mike Condon likely will start, coach Guy Boucher said. No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson, who has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, will play as soon as he's ready. "Right now we're sticking to the plan [to have Mike Condon start], but with Andy, I've said it since Day One, the minute he tells me he's ready to go and he wants to go, he's going," Boucher said. "There's no wondering who, 100 percent he's going. Is it in the next hours, tomorrow, Tuesday? We planned [for] Tuesday, so anything before is a bonus. We weren't expecting it. I'm still not expecting it, but we'll see if he got better again today." Anderson, likely to dress as the backup, is 6-0-0 with 10 goals against in his past six starts. Defenseman Mark Borowiecki, who missed the past four games with a lower-body injury, is expected to play. The Senators streak of seven consecutive games (6-0-1) with a point ended Thursday with a 2-1 home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Alexander Radulov

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw

Dwight King -- Steve Ott -- Torrey Mitchell

Andrei Markov -- Shea Weber

Brandon Davidson -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jordie Benn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Alexei Emelin, Andreas Martinsen, Michael McCarron

Injured: Nikita Nesterov (lower body), Brian Flynn (upper body)

 

Senators projected lineup

Zack Smith -- Kyle Turris -- Bobby Ryan

Ryan Dzingel -- Derick Brassard -- Alexandre Burrows

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Viktor Stalberg -- Chris Kelly -- Tommy Wingels

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki -- Chris Wideman

Mike Condon

Craig Anderson

Scratched : Fredrik Claesson , Jyrki Jokipakka, Christopher DiDomenico

Injured : Mark Stone (lower body), Chris Neil (broken finger)

 

Status report

Julien said he will continue to rotate players in and out of the lineup through the end of the season. Beaulieu, who was a scratch for a 2-1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, will dress and Emelin will sit. … Stone will miss his fourth game with a lower-body injury. Boucher said Stone has not resumed skating and likely will be out another week.

 

Who's hot

Galchenyuk has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his past nine games. Pacioretty has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past nine games. … Karlsson has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. Hoffman has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.

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