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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 3rd (All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (5-2-1) at Montreal Canadiens (5-2-0), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens meet for the second time in five days on Sunday afternoon as the two clubs get together at the Bell Centre.
The Sens took that first meeting 5-1 last Wednesday in Ottawa despite center Jason Spezza sitting out his second straight game due to a back injury. The club announced the following day that Spezza would undergo surgery for a herniated disk that will leave him sidelined indefinitely.
Ottawa survived without the high-scoring forward versus Montreal, getting goals from five different skaters. That included the first of 19-year-old Mika Zibanejad's career.
Craig Anderson, meanwhile, capped his month with 31 saves and was named the NHL's First Star for January. He did not lose any of his six starts in regulation during the month, going 5-0-1 with a 0.99 goals against average and .967 save percentage.
Anderson was excellent again on Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes, making 34 saves. However, the Sens had a two-game winning streak halted as they were shut out 1-0.
"I thought we were on the outside a little too much," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean admitted. "I thought our team really came out in the third and tried to give ourselves a chance to get something out of the game and that's all we can ask from them."
Montreal, meanwhile, had a four-game winning streak snapped with the loss to the Senators, getting a goal from Tomas Plekanec while backup netminder Peter Budaj yielded five goals on 27 shots.
The Habs had won four of six and eight of their previous 12 versus the Senators, who have lost two in a row and four of their last six in Montreal.
The Canadiens were able to rebound in a big way on Saturday, notching a 6-1 victory over the visiting Buffalo Sabres. Rene Bourque and David Desharnais each scored two goals, while Carey Price came up with 30 saves.
"I feel better and am more comfortable and healthy," said Bourque. "I want to prove to myself that I can be better than last year. I wanted to improve over the summer and make it a good season and make a difference on this team. I'm happy with the start to my season and I'm happy with the whole team's start to the season."
Lars Eller had a goal and two assists, while defenseman P.K. Subban picked up a helper in his season debut. He had missed the start of the season as an unsigned restricted free agent before agreeing to a new two-year deal on Monday.
"When you're playing your first game out there and the team has a great start, it's sort of a relief," said Subban. "It's easier to handle the puck and do all that stuff. Just happy with the win here today."
Montreal held Buffalo to just one shot in the first period while sending 15 on net at the other end. It did end with just a 32-31 shot advantage in the game.
02/03 10:30:44 ET