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Preview: Senators at Canadiens

Ottawa, Montreal compete for first place in Atlantic to wrap up home-and-home series

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

SENATORS (39-23-8) at CANADIENS (40-23-8)

7:30 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV

 

Senators team scope

The Ottawa Senators trail the Montreal Canadiens by two points for first place in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand. Goalie Craig Anderson will make his second straight start against the Canadiens in the second of a home-and-home series. Anderson returned Saturday after missing two games because of a lower-body injury and made 29 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss at Canadian Tire Centre. Coach Guy Boucher said he was "100 percent" comfortable with starting Anderson for a second straight day. "It's always about the circumstances," Boucher said Sunday. "If you feel your goaltender's healthy and got energy, let's go. He's ready to go. And if you feel that it will be a moment when it's better to play your other guy, then you do. But it's clear, I've said it every time, when he's ready to go, he's going." The Senators did not have a morning skate, and Boucher said he expects to use the same lineup from Saturday.

 

Canadiens team scope

The Canadiens did not have a morning skate and return to Bell Centre following the win Saturday with a two-point lead on the Senators for first place in the division. Goalie Carey Price made 28 saves Saturday. He is 7-1-0 with one shutout and 12 goals allowed in his past eight starts. Montreal is 8-2-0 in its past 10 games and 9-4-0 since Claude Julien replaced Michel Therrien as coach on Feb. 14. "You can always enjoy a win, but when we come back to work [Sunday] morning we've got to be focused on what we need to do," Julien said Saturday. "We've got to be focused on the things we have to do better so right now those guys put a lot of energy into the game, so I'll let them relax, then [Sunday] morning we'll get right back at it."

 

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

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Fredrik Claesson, Jyrki Jokipakka, Christopher DiDomenico

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

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Alexander Radulov

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw

Dwight King  -- Michael McCarron -- Torrey Mitchell

Andrei Markov -- Shea Weber

Alexei Emelin -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jordie Benn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Brandon Davidson, Steve Ott, Andreas Martinsen

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

Status report

Boucher is encouraged by the secondary scoring he saw with Stone out for this crucial series. "We're missing our top forward so obviously some guys have to step it up, and [Saturday] scoring three goals on Carey Price means that some guys stepped it up, so we'll be looking for that again," Boucher said. ... Julien praised the offensive contributions he got from Shaw, Danault and Gallagher, who scored Saturday. "And that's what we need to succeed," Julien said. "It's nice to see those guys step up in a big game and it's not always about the guys you expect to score every night. And if you can get secondary scoring, that's what gives you a chance to win so many games in this League."

 

Who's hot

Karlsson had a goal and an assist Saturday, and has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. Hoffman has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. ... Galchenyuk has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games.

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