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Senators start five-game homestand vs. Canadiens

by Jon Lane

CANADIENS (8-7-1) vs. SENATORS (5-6-4)


Last 10: Montreal 4-5-1; Ottawa 4-4-2

Season series: This is the first of five games between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. The teams last met in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Senators won that series in five games, punctuated by a 6-1 win at Bell Centre on May 9.

Big story: P.K. Subban is the reigning Norris Trophy winner, but he was on the bench for the final four-plus minutes of regulation time in the Canadiens' 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. He was also fourth in ice time among Montreal defensemen.

"I will not comment on the ice time of any player," coach Michel Therrien told reporters Wednesday, before adding that Subban (one assist, one hit, three blocks, three shots on goal) played "a hell of a game for us … exactly what we needed from him."

Subban is in the final year of a two-year contract worth $5.75 million.

Team Scope:

Canadiens: Awarded a penalty shot in the final minute of regulation Tuesday, Tomas Plekanec missed the net high and wide. Montreal had no shots in overtime and settled for a point in the shootout defeat despite a League-record 38 blocked shots and 30 saves from goalie Carey Price.

The Canadiens arrive in Ottawa on a three-game winless streak.

''We didn't have a good first pass coming out of our own end,'' captain Brian Gionta said. ''The crowd got frustrated a little bit there. ''We didn't get anything going.''

Montreal practiced Wednesday with reconfigured forward lines. Max Pacioretty skated with Plekanec and Gionta. Lars Eller was moved back with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais (a healthy scratch Tuesday) centered Michael Bournival and Rene Bourque, and Travis Moen was reunited with Ryan White and George Parros.

Price is scheduled to make his 14th start in goal.

Senators: Ottawa returns to Canadian Tire Centre off a 4-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday behind two Erik Karlsson goals. Jason Spezza added two assists to help end Ottawa's winless streak at five games and build some momentum to begin a five-game homestand.

"It was another good step for us,'' coach Paul MacLean said. ''I thought we played a real solid 60 minutes. There were some times when the opposition had some good play, but we handled the momentum swings better. Our penalty-killers were outstanding.''

Who's hot: Karlsson is on a five-game point streak (four goals, five assists) and his 17 points lead all defenseman. Kyle Turris also owns a five-game point streak (one goal, six assists) … Subban has points in three straight games (one goal, three assists).

Injury report: Moen (facial fracture) will play against the Senators. "He will give us extra depth up front and had been playing good hockey [before his injury]," Therrien said. Moen and defenseman Alexei Emelin (knee) practiced Wednesday with full-contact jerseys. Center Daniel Briere (concussion) resumed skating Monday, and will make the trip and practice with teammates. Forward Brandon Prust (upper body) and defenseman Davis Drewiske (shoulder surgery) remain out … Senators goalie Craig Anderson (sore neck) and right wing Erik Condra (leg) are sidelined.


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