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Preview: Senators at Canadiens

Ottawa striving to improve offense; Torrey Mitchell moves to Montreal's top line

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

SENATORS (10-7-1) at CANADIENS (14-3-2)

7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, SNE, TSN5, NHL.TV

 

Senators team scope

The Ottawa Senators have scored two goals or fewer in regulation through 12 straight games since a 3-0 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 25. "I mean, the next step is to get a soccer net," coach Guy Boucher said after the morning skate at Bell Centre. The Senators have lost two consecutive games, including a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, and are 1-2-1 in their past four. Center Derick Brassard has one goal and one assist in his past 11 games, and two goals in 18 games this season. "After last game, shots were 40-23 for us and shots attempted were 83," Boucher said. "We had 83 shots attempted, four guys alone against the goalie, three breakaways, two 2-on-1s, open nets. I mean, [Florida goalie Roberto] Luongo made miracles, but we need to do a better job of lifting the puck on the rebounds. Our screens were way better, our tips, paying the price. I can't ask for more of that. It's just a finish." Ottawa center Kyle Turris put an optimistic spin on facing Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who has started 11-0-1. "I don't know, maybe it's a good thing," Turris said. "We always have fun playing in Montreal, so it might be a good thing, change things up. He's a great goalie, but at the same time we've seemed to find a way to have success against him in the past. Hopefully we can find that again."

 

Canadiens team scope

Center Torrey Mitchell will move on to a line with left wing Max Pacioretty and right wing Andrew Shaw for the Canadiens on Tuesday. A four-time 30-goal scorer, Pacioretty has two goals in his past 11 games, and four in 19 games this season. "I think when we build this team, we make sure that our strong defensive forwards are good skaters because that allows you to turn good defense into offense," Pacioretty said about Mitchell, who has five goals mostly playing on the fourth line. "It's one thing to cause a turnover in your own end, but I think if you don't skate well, it's tough to turn it into offense. And I think that was the mindset when they were building this team, is to make sure that guys like [Mitchell] and guys who are responsible in their own end, [Paul Byron], that they had good wheels because you've got to turn those turnovers and that defense into offense, and I think that's what guys like him so valuable and why I feel we have one of the best bottom six in the League."

 

Senators projected lineup

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Tom Pyatt

Zack Smith -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman -- Derick Brassard -- Chris Kelly

Max MacCormick -- Curtis Lazar -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Chris Wideman -- Mark Borowiecki

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: None

Injured: Bobby Ryan (finger), Clarke MacArthur (concussion)

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Torrey Mitchell -- Andrew Shaw

Paul Byron -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Alexander Radulov

Phillip Danault -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Daniel Carr -- David Desharnais -- Chris Terry

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Andrei Markov -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Joel Hanley

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Charles Hudon, Greg Pateryn

Injured: Brian Flynn (upper body), Artturi Lehkonen (upper body), Zach Redmond (foot)

 

Status report

Hoffman will return after missing two games because of a groin injury. ... Ryan will miss a second straight game, though not by much. "He's so close I thought he was in," Boucher said. ... Carr will return after being a healthy scratch Saturday. ... Price, Mitchell and Byron were the only Canadiens who did not take the ice for an optional morning skate in Brossard, Quebec. ... Lehkonen, Flynn and Redmond skated earlier.

 

Who's hot

Turris has two goals and one assist in four games. ... Radulov has eight assists during a six-game points streak. ... Byron has five goals in his past seven games. ... Galchenyuk leads the Canadiens with 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 19 games. He has points in 15 games, including 10 of his past 12. ... Markov has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past eight games.

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