NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 27th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (13-16-7) at Ottawa Senators (17-14-5), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The last-place Montreal Canadiens will try again
for their first win under Randy Cunneyworth, as the Habs visit the Ottawa
Senators for tonight's Northeast Division clash at Scotiabank Place.
The Canadiens, who will aim to halt a five-game losing streak tonight, are
last in the Northeast with 33 points -- six less than the third-place
Senators. Montreal's last four setbacks have come under Cunneyworth, who took
over as interim head coach for the fired Jacques Martin on Dec. 17.
Montreal has been outscored by the opposition, 21-9, during its current slide
and the Habs were dealt a 4-0 loss Thursday in Winnipeg. The shutout loss
dropped the Canadiens to 0-3 on a six-game road trip and Montreal is now 8-9-1
as the visiting team this season.
The Habs fired 27 shots at Ondrej Pavelec on Thursday, but the Jets goaltender
turned aside all of them to post his third shutout of the season. Meanwhile,
Carey Price was tagged for all four goals on 34 shots for the Canadiens.
"I think it's about sticking together, I think when we are trying to figure
out, the pieces the puzzle, everybody has to come together, and I think it's a
good place to start right here," said Cunneyworth.
Montreal needs to win tonight to avoid matching its longest losing streak of
the season. The Canadiens went 0-4-2 during a six-game slide from Oct. 13-24.
The Senators had a three-game winning streak snapped Friday at Carolina, but
the overtime loss gave Ottawa a point for the fourth straight contest.
Ottawa and the Hurricanes were tied at 1-1 after one period on Friday and the
game's only other goal was scored by Tuomo Ruutu, who ended the contest 1:36
into the overtime period.
Filip Kuba had a goal and Craig Anderson made 36 saves in the hard-luck loss
"Craig was outstanding," said Ottawa coach Paul MacLean. "It would've been
nice to have the win, but when we look back at this it's gonna be a pretty big
Ottawa expects to get leading goal-scorer Milan Michalek back tonight after he
missed the last five games with a concussion. The Czech winger passed his
baseline concussion test on Thursday and is considered ready to go for
tonight. Michalek has 19 goals and six assists this season.
Sens forward Jesse Winchester has missed the last two games with a concussion
and is expected to sit out again tonight.
Ottawa is 10-7-1 as the host this year and has won its last two games on home
Montreal edged the Senators, 2-1, in Ottawa on Nov. 4, giving the Canadiens
wins in three of the last four meetings in this series. The Habs have also
taken three out of four in Canada's capital city.
12/27 10:49:41 ET