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Ottawa Senators vs. Montr?al Canadiens @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Ottawa Senators (3-0-0-0) at Montreal Canadiens (3-0-0-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Michael Ryder and the Montreal Canadiens hope to keep their perfect record intact when they face another of the league's unbeaten teams, the Ottawa Senators.

Ryder had a pair of game-winning goals as Montreal went 3-0-0 on a season-opening road trip with wins over Boston, the New York Rangers and Toronto. The Canadiens have opened with three wins - all by one goal - for the first time since 1978-79.

The 25-year-old Ryder is off to a fast start with three goals this season after scoring only once in his first 11 games as a rookie in 2003-04.

Montreal used another late finish for its third victory of the season, 5-4 at Toronto on Saturday. Mike Ribeiro scored the game-winner with 4:27 remaining as he tapped in a cross-ice pass from defenseman Andrei Markov.

"It was an exciting game," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "We had a lot of mental errors, we looked tired at times. But we found a way to come back and score some big goals. That showed character and determination."

Captain Saku Koivu added a pair of assists, including one on the tying goal with 6:56 remaining.

"It's something to build on," Koivu said. "We have a young team and a lot of rookies. For us to win games late is really something for our confidence. We're not quitting. We're not playing our best but we're finding a way."

Ottawa also enters with a 3-0-0 mark after surviving a shootout for a 6-5 victory over visiting Toronto on Monday.

Dany Heatley scored the lone shootout goal for the Senators, who have sandwiched a pair of shootout wins around a 5-0 rout of Buffalo on Saturday.

"It's definitely a great feeling to win the game and to win in the shootout," said Ottawa goaltender Dominik Hasek, who stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout. "You get the extra one point which is great, but I would rather win the game in 60 minutes or in the regular overtime."

Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson has been very successful against the Canadiens in his career. He had 13 points in six games against them in 2003-04, and has 16 goals and 35 assists in 42 career contests against Montreal.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 9): Senators - 8 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 11 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Heatley and Alfredsson, 4 goals; Wade Redden and Jason Spezza, 4 assists; Spezza, 7 points; Redden, 8 PIM. Canadiens - Ryder, 3 goals; Alexei Kovalev, 4 assists and 4 points; Pierre Dagenais, 8 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 9): Senators - Power play: 30.0 percent (3 for 10), 4th in NHL. Penalty killing: 94.4 percent (17 for 18), 3rd (tied). Canadiens - Power play: 20.0 percent (4 for 20), 12th (tied). Penalty killing: 89.5 percent (17 for 19), 9th.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Hasek (3-0-0, 1 SO, 2.21); Ray Emery (no appearances). Canadiens - Jose Theodore (3-0-0, 2.64); Yann Denis (no appearances).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Senators, 4-2.

LAST MEETING: March 25, 2004; Senators, 4-0. At Montreal, Patrick Lalime made 29 saves and Alfredsson scored twice as the Senators temporarily denied the Canadiens from clinching a playoff spot.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 1-0-0-0 on the road; Canadiens - 0-0-0-0 at home.

Associated Press
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