NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 7th (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (12-14-2) at Montreal Canadiens (17-8-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will aim for a third straight victory when they welcome the Ottawa Senators for tonight's Northeast Division battle at the Bell Centre.
The Habs and Senators have already met three times this season and this evening's tilt will be the third matchup in Montreal. The Canadiens won the first two encounters, but the Sens posted a 3-2 decision at the Bell Centre on Nov. 6. Ottawa has taken five of seven and eight of 11 overall in the series and five out of six in Quebec.
However, Montreal has been playing solid hockey over the last week and a half. In addition to winning their last two outings, the division-leading Canadiens are 3-0-1 since last losing in regulation on Nov. 26 in Atlanta. Montreal, which hasn't won three in a row since a four-game winning streak from Nov. 9-16, has also outscored the opposition by an 8-2 margin over its last two games.
Montreal's most recent victory came Saturday against the visiting San Jose Sharks. Tomas Plekanec notched the winning score late in the second period and Carey Price made 26 saves to help lift the Habs to the 3-1 victory.
Mathieu Darche and Mike Cammalleri also scored for the Canadiens.
"Two wins in a row, it's something we've been looking for," Price said of the Habs, who hadn't recorded consecutive wins since last month's four-game winning streak. "We're trying for some consistency here and definitely winning a couple of games is nice. Our guys did an excellent job of shutting down their big line and their offense."
The Canadiens have won seven of their last nine home games and are 10-4-2 as the host this season. Montreal will play its next two games on the road beginning with Friday's test in Detroit and ending Saturday in Toronto.
Meanwhile, the Senators, who are 10 points behind Montreal in the Northeast standings, will try to record consecutive wins for the first time since early November when they face the Habs tonight. Ottawa last won back-to-back outings during a four-game winning streak from Nov. 2-9.
The Sens halted a three-game skid on Sunday, recording a road victory against the New York Rangers. Chris Kelly lit the lamp three times, including the game-winner with 2:24 left to play, to lift Ottawa past the Rangers, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden.
Kelly completed the first hat trick of his career on an empty-netter with one second left for Ottawa. Pascal Leclaire turned away 25 shots to get his second win of the season.
The victory ended a four-game road losing streak for Ottawa, which is 5-7-1 as the visiting team this year. The Sens will begin a three-game homestand their next time out when they face the Rangers Thursday in Ottawa.
12/07 10:32:09 ET