GAME: Montreal Canadiens (28-22-6-2) at Ottawa Senators (30-15-7-4).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
Though the Ottawa Senators have broken out of their slump, they still aren't
finishing games the way that they should.
The Senators try to avoid blowing another late lead as they go for their
third straight victory in a matchup with the Montreal Canadiens.
Martin Havlat's second goal of the game 1:23 into overtime gave Ottawa a 3-2
victory over Boston on Thursday, but the Senators gave away a crucial point in
the standings to the division rival Bruins.
By allowing the Bruins' Jiri Slegr to score the tying goal with 40.4 seconds
left in regulation, Ottawa blew a chance to move into a tie with Boston for
second place in the Northeast Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference.
The Senators remained within three points of Toronto for the division lead.
In their final two games before the All-Star break, the Senators wasted a
four-goal lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to Toronto and blew a late second-period
lead in falling 2-1 to New Jersey.
"The last three games we always took the lead, but two of the last three
games the other team came back," Havlat said. "We're happy that we got the
extra point, but they still got the one point, too, so we've got to do a better
job in the last five or 10 minutes, and play our game for 60 minutes."
With seven goals and two assists in Ottawa's last seven games, Havlat has
totaled 21 points in his last 15 outings.
While Ottawa has won both of its games since the All-Star break following a
season-high three-game losing streak, Montreal has dropped two straight after
ending the first half with three consecutive wins.
Like the Senators, the Canadiens let a third-period lead slip away Thursday,
losing 5-3 to Tampa Bay. Montreal, which led 2-0 after one period and 3-2
midway through the third, fell to 22-3 when leading after 40 minutes.
"It's always OK if you get some points," said Habs center Saku Koivu, who
had a goal and two assists. "But when you blow the lead, it's pretty
Montreal is hoping Richard Zednik and rookie Michael Ryder can end scoring
slumps. Zednik, leading the team with 19 goals, has failed to score in six
straight games and Ryder, who tops NHL rookies with 41 points, has one goal in
his last 10.