Game preview: MTL vs. OTT
CANADIENS (35-25-7) vs. SENATORS (28-25-12)
On Saturday, the Habs will take part in an all-Canadian showdown with the Senators at the Bell Centre
The Canadiens are coming off a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. Tuukka Rask was spectacular, stopping 35 of 36 shots and allowed his team to pull out to a 4-0 lead through 45 minutes. Despite the outcome, the Habs actually dominated the shot count for the entirety of the game. Max Pacioretty had six shots on net and Thomas Vanek added five more. Both combined to set up David Desharnais in the third period to get Montreal on the board.
The Sens have not seen game action since Monday night, when they dropped a 4-3 overtime decision against the Nashville Predators. Nashville raced out a 3-0 lead before Ottawa rallied and tied the game with just over a minute left to play in regulation. Seth Jones scored in the extra period to give the Preds the win.
Craig Anderson left the game after a little over two periods and was relieved by Robin Lehner, who stopped 12 of 13 shots.
Ottawa’s 14th-ranked offense has gotten much help from deadline addition Ales Hemsky, acquired by Ottawa from the Oilers in exchange for draft picks, has found instant chemistry with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek. The Czech has six assists in his three games as a member of the Senators. The offensive boost provided by Hemsky may somewhat stem the tide for a team who is currently ranked 28th in the NHL in terms of goals allowed.
Craig Anderson, out with an upper-body injury, will not play on Saturday. Robin Lehner will make the start, he who has a 3.05 GAA and 0.912 SV% in 25 appearances since the start of the season. Also out for Ottawa are Cody Ceci and Mark Stone. Clarke MacArthur will likely suit up after recovering from a hand injury.
Michel Therrien has announced that Francis Bouillon will play in a second consecutive game against Ottawa. On Wednesday night, he skated on a pairing with P.K. Subban. Therrien confirmed on Saturday morning that Carey Price will get the start in goal.
Saturday night’s game will be the fourth of five season meetings between the clubs. On January 16 2014, P.K. Subban had the overtime winner as the Habs won 5-4 in Ottawa.