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Senators' Lazar, Hoffman back in lineup at Canadiens

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com

SENATORS (5-4-2) at CANADIENS (11-2-0)

TV: RDS, TSN5, SNE, CITYM

MONTREAL -- The Ottawa Senators will have two key forwards back in their lineup against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday but leading scorer Mark Stone will begin serving a two-game suspension.

Stone, who leads Ottawa with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists), was suspended by the NHL on Monday for his hit to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Landon Ferraro in the Senators' 5-3 loss Saturday.

"I don't agree with it," Stone said Tuesday. "I thought I did a good job explaining myself. It's tough considering the history of my game, the type of player I am and the things I do. So it's disappointing."

Left wing Mike Hoffman and right wing Curtis Lazar will return from their injuries and line up with center Kyle Turris against Montreal.

Lazar was sidelined for three games because of a concussion he sustained Oct. 24 on a hit by Arizona Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek.

"I'm anxious to get going here," Lazar said. "It's awfully tough sitting out. I want to do my part. I guess the concussion's one thing, but it's also a blessing in disguise because I've only played one or two games at 100 percent this year already. So I'm coming in, I'm feeling good, and I want to get out there and make an impact."

Hoffman, who has four goals and four assists, missed the past four games because of a groin injury. Lazar will take Stone's place on the Senators' most productive line.

"They're world class players for a good reason," Lazar said. "For myself, getting my legs underneath me is going to be a big part, especially early. I haven't played a game in just over a week, so the pace is something I'm going to have to get used to."

Ottawa has won once in six games at home (1-3-2), but has thrived on the road (4-1-0).

Senators coach Dave Cameron had no explanation for the difference in his team's success other than to say, "It seems like on the road we're more prepared, we're more focused."

Ottawa will be facing a Canadiens team perfect at Bell Centre with five regulation wins in five games. It is the Canadiens' longest home winning streak to start a season since 1979-80, when they won their first six games at the Forum.

"They're going to make us play fast, that's our big challenge," Cameron said. "All three zones, they pressure, they move fast, they're going to make us play real fast."

Montreal coach Michel Therrien will continue with the same lineup he has dressed for the past three games. Right wing Devante Smith-Pelly moved from the fourth line to the one centered by Alex Galchenyuk during the Canadiens' 5-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, and will remain there.

"He's just so strong on the puck," Montreal center Torrey Mitchell said. "He's going to go fetch the pucks for those guys; a big body, he plays fast, simple, and he'll get those guys the puck. That's the way he played with us and he's playing with a lot of confidence right now, so it's good to see."

Right wing Brian Flynn took Smith-Pelly's place with Mitchell and left wing Paul Byron, who has scored shorthanded goals in his past two games.

Byron also has an assist since he replaced Alexander Semin in the lineup Friday after sitting out the first 10 games.

"I think the best thing to happen to me was sitting in the press box and letting myself get familiar with the team, getting familiar with the players on the ice, the systems," said Byron, who was claimed on waivers from the Calgary Flames on Oct. 6. "I think maybe if I would have been thrown in right away it would have been a little more difficult to adjust, but having that time to practice and really get a good feel of how this team does things it certainly benefited me for sure."

Here are the projected lineups:

SENATORS

Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Curtis Lazar

Shane Prince - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Milan Michalek - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Alex Chiasson

Matt Puempel - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki - Jared Cowen

Craig Anderson

Andrew Hammond

Scratched: Chris Wideman

Injured: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion)

Suspended: Mark Stone

CANADIENS

Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Devante Smith-Pelly

Tomas Fleischmann - David Desharnais - Dale Weise

Paul Byron - Torrey Mitchell - Brian Flynn

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert

Mike Condon

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Jarred Tinordi, Alexander Semin

Injured: Carey Price (lower body)

Status report: Condon will make his third straight start with Price sidelined for a week because of a lower-body injury. The 25-year-old rookie earned his first NHL victory in Ottawa on Oct. 11 and is the third Canadiens goalie to win his first four NHL games (Ken Dryden, Wayne Thomas) … Semin will be a healthy scratch for a fourth straight game. He has one goal and two assists in 10 games. "We like the combination of every line," Therrien said. "And we like the speed that we've got, we like the chemistry, so the next time he'll get a chance he's got to make sure that he follows the pace." Montreal assigned defenseman Greg Pateryn to St. John's of the American Hockey League for conditioning purposes.

Who's hot: Ryan and Turris have each scored in three straight games. … Karlsson has assists in three straight games. … Fleischmann scored twice and had an assist Sunday, and has five points in his past two games. … Desharnais, who also had three points Sunday, has a goal and four assists over the same span. … Mitchell has two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. … Petry has three assists in his past two games.

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