NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Thursday, March 25th
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (39-22-9-6) at Montreal Canadiens (40-27-7-3), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams fighting for playoff positioning take to
the ice tonight, as the Montreal Canadiens host the Ottawa Senators at the
The Senators, with 93 points, are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference --
one behind Toronto and one ahead of New Jersey. The Canadiens are in seventh
place and trail Jersey by two points. Montreal needs just one point to clinch
a playoff spot in the East.
On Tuesday, Ottawa wasted a chance to close in on the Northeast Division lead,
as Glen Murray and Sergei Samsonov each had a goal and an assist to lead
Boston to a 4-2 victory over the Senators at the FleetCenter.
Boston has a three-point lead over Toronto for the top spot in the Northeast
Division, and is four up on Ottawa.
Martin Havlat had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which has lost four of its
last five games (1-3-0-1). Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson returned after
missing three straight games with a charley horse and contributed an assist.
Patrick Lalime made 32 saves in defeat, but allowed two soft goals.
The Senators play the third test of a six-game road trip on Saturday in
Meanwhile, the Canadiens were dealt a 2-1 loss in Buffalo on Wednesday. Adam
Mair's second-period goal was the difference for the Sabres.
Michael Ryder scored the lone Montreal goal as the Canadiens saw their losing
streak in Buffalo extended to seven games. The Canadiens, 11-2-1-1 in their
last 15 contests overall, haven't won at HSBC since October 26, 2001.
Ryder became the first Canadiens' rookie to reach 60 points since Kjell Dahlin
On the injury front, Montreal's All-Star defenseman, Sheldon Souray, left the
game after the first period and did not return, apparently after getting hit
from behind by Andrew Peters. He is questionable for tonight's game with what
the team has called an upper-body injury.
Ottawa is 3-2 against the Canadiens this season, but the Habs have taken two
of the last three matchups. Ottawa has also dropped three of its previous five
games in Montreal.
03/25 10:16:11 ET