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Senators-Canadiens Preview @NHLdotcom
Senators-Canadiens Preview

GAME: Ottawa Senators (23-5-2) at Montreal Canadiens (16-9-6).

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

The Ottawa Senators look to continue their dominance of the Montreal Canadiens when the Northeast Division rivals meet for the fourth time this season.

Ottawa has gone 3-0 against Montreal this season to extend its winning streak in the series to four, and has won 10 of the 14 contests between the teams since the start of the 2002-03 campaign.

Ray Emery has been in net for all three Senators' victories this season. The most recent was a 4-0 win on Nov. 29 at Ottawa which made him the first goalie in NHL history to start a career with nine straight wins.

Emery, however, has since lost his last two starts, but Dominik Hasek has won his last two outings.

Hasek made 27 saves and Ottawa scored six-power play goals in an 8-2 rout of Toronto on Saturday night. The Senators' top line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza combined for eight points.

"We were moving the puck well," Alfredsson said. "We were taking the shots when we had them. It was clicking pretty good."

Ottawa will be looking to either Emery or Hasek to get the team back on track on the road as it begins a three-game trip. The Senators have dropped two of their last three road games after beginning the season with only two losses in their first 11 contests away from home.

Emery has stopped 81 of 86 shots against Montreal this season, while Hasek is 21-10-4 with a 2.11 goal-against average in his career against the Canadiens.

Montreal is returning home after suffering road losses to Edmonton Thursday and Minnesota on Saturday. The Canadiens have dropped nine of their last 12 games after opening the season 13-3-3.

Montreal was leading the Wild 3-2 with 7:24 left in the third period Saturday and had a chance to take a two-goal advantage, but Niklas Sundstrom's penalty shot hit the left post and bounced out.

Minnesota tied it with just under six minutes left in regulation and won the game on Kurtis Foster's power-play goal with 1:47 remaining in overtime.

"We score (on the penalty shot), and it's a different ballgame," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "We score on that, and I think the game is over."

Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore has a bruised left knee and won't play Tuesday. Cristobal Huet is expected to make his second straight start.

This is the only home contest for the Canadiens in an eight-game stretch. They begin a five-game trip with a matchup against Washington on Friday.

STANDINGS: Senators - 48 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 38 points, 3rd place, 10 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Alfredsson, 22 goals and 47 points; Spezza, 34 assists; Zdeno Chara, 84 PIM. Canadiens - Michael Ryder, 15 goals; Saku Koivu, 19 assists and 27 points; Steve Begin, 79 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Senators - Power play: 22.8 percent (44 for 193), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.5 percent (174 for 201), 3rd. Canadiens - Power play: 18.4 percent (36 for 195), 12th. Penalty killing: 80.9 percent (166 for 205), 22nd.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Hasek (17-4-1, 3 SO, 1.99 GAA); Emery (6-1-1, 1, 2.21). Canadiens - Huet (0-0-1, 3.81); Yann Danis (3-2-0, 1, 2.69).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 29; Senators, 4-0. At Ottawa, Emery made 27 saves for his first career shutout, and Spezza and Mike Fisher had two points each for the Senators.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 10-2-2 on the road; Canadiens - 10-5-2 at home.

Associated Press
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