The Habs this week - Feb. 16, 2009
Tomas Plekanec will be eligible to return to the Canadiens’ lineup after serving a two-game suspension for a tripping incident against the Oilers last week. While the season hasn’t come close to what Plekanec had hoped for, he might be able to find some solace in facing the Capitals; Washington has been one of his favorite victims over the course of his career, producing 13 points in 15 games.
Caps defenseman Mike Green has been red-hot of late. The 23-year-old set an NHL record over the weekend when he scored in an eighth consecutive game, besting Boston’s Mike O’Connell’s previous benchmark of seven set back in 1984.
Canadiens @ Penguins – Thursday, Feb. 19 @ 7 PM
Not even the return of blueline stalwart Sergei Gonchar could help turn Pittsburgh’s fortunes around on the weekend. A 2-1 third period lead ultimately resulted in a 6-2 loss and the firing of Michel Therrien. He’s been replaced on an interim basis by Dan Bylsma, head coach of their AHL squad.
The Canadiens have taken both meetings thus far, with Andrei Kostitsyn notching four goals in the two games.
Evgeni Malkin continues to lead the way offensively in Steeltown, amassing a league-leading 81 points and a team-best plus-16.
Canadiens vs. Senators – Saturday, Feb. 21 @ 3 PM
While the Senators dropped their first matchup under their new bench boss, they’ve been on a roll ever since, winning four straight and earning a point in each of their last five outings. Though they’ve found their legs of late, the Sens continue to languish at the bottom of the standings, both in the East and the league overall.
After years of struggling against their division rival, the winds of change are now blowing favorably in the Canadiens’ direction. The Habs have taken five straight from the Senators, dating back to last season. Ottawa will likely be hoping that Saturday’s contest doesn’t make it to a shootout; the club hasn’t won the ultimate tiebreaker on the road since November 4, 2007.
Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com
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