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Hasek returns in goal against Montreal

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
"He's been a real good goaltender for us," Murray said of Hasek. "A couple of nights when we lost, it wasn't anything other than we didn't play well. A couple of times we didn't play well, and he won for us."

Coach Bryan Murray will start veteran Dominik Hasek in goal on Thursday when the Montreal Canadiens visit Scotiabank Place. It's Hasek's eighth straight start.

"He's been a real good goaltender for us," Murray said. "A couple of nights when we lost, it wasn't anything other than we didn't play well. A couple of times we didn't play well, and he won for us."

Rookie Ray Emery, who has backed up Hasek over the past eight games, is expected to get some action next week when the Senators work through a busy portion of the schedule.

"We play four games next week," Murray said. "I'm not saying we'll split them evenly. Definitely Ray (Emery) will play starting on either Monday or Wednesday."

The Senators host the Boston Bruins on Monday, and then play on the road against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Top line on a roll

Heading into tomorrow's game against Montreal, Dany Heatley (4-5) and Daniel Alfredsson (3-5) will be looking to increase five-game scoring streaks. Along with Jason Spezza, the Senators' top line has been among the best in the NHL this season.

"They are really playing well, there's no question," Murray said. "Points seem to come when those three play together."

Murray said he's enjoyed flipping on his television every morning to witness the talent across the NHL.

"What the league was trying to do coming back was have more offence. There have been very exciting goals," he said. "You can turn the television on in the morning and get highlights from every game and be amazed at some of the goals that are scored.

"The entertainment package has really been terrific. I think it shows in our attendance here, as much as anywhere, that people are excited. It's a tremendous selling point for the league."

Ottawa will be gunning for it's 15th straight sell-out tomorrow night at Scotiabank Place.

Hasek talks Olympics

Dominik Hasek was featured during a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming Winter Olympics and his involvement with Team Czech Republic. Hasek won gold for his country in 1998 but watched as Canada won gold in 2002. He was asked if he thought Canada was the favourites once again.

"If they're not the biggest, they're one of the biggest favourites. It's always easier to win the first one, though, because with the second one everyone expects you to repeat and everyone knows you're the last winner."

Also, an event like the Olympic hockey tournament doesn't offer much room for error. Teams must be ready to play a full 60 minutes each contest.

"If you have one bad game, you go home," Hasek said. "Maybe the goalie on the opposite end of the ice has a hot 60 minutes."

Hasek said he hasn't heard if he will be the starter for the Czech team, but he expects to share preliminary-round action with Nashville Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun.

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