NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 30th
(All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (40-31-6) at Ottawa Senators (45-24-8), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The red-hot Montreal Canadiens aim for their sixth straight
victory tonight, when they visit the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.
The Canadiens' recent surge increased their season point total to 86 and has
placed them in a tie with Tampa Bay for the final two postseason berths in the
Eastern Conference. However, Toronto is just one point back in ninth place and
the Islanders and Hurricanes are tied for 10th with 84 points.
Montreal's latest victory came Tuesday against the visiting New York Rangers.
Alex Kovalev's pair of goals and Saku Koivu's four assists led the way for the
Habs in the 6-4 win at the Bell Centre.
Andrei Markov had two assists for the Canadiens, while Steve Begin, Michael
Ryder, Tomas Plekanec and Mark Streit also lit the lamp for the Habs. Rookie
goaltender Jaroslav Halak improved to 8-4-0 with a 28-save performance.
The Canadiens have struggled to a 16-19-3 mark as the road club this year and
have dropped six of their last eight as the away club.
Ottawa, meanwhile, recently clinched its 10th straight playoff berth despite
losing its last game Tuesday night against Boston. The Senators have 98 points
and are tied with New Jersey for fourth place in the East.
The Senators lost a home test to the Bruins, as Patrice Bergeron had a goal
and an assist to lead Boston to the 3-2 triumph at Scotiabank Place
Dany Heatley and Mike Fisher scored for the Senators, who had a three-game
winning streak snapped and failed to record a point for the first time in 12
Ray Emery allowed all three goals on just 17 shots faced for the Sens, who are
still 15-2-5 since February 8.
This evening's test marks the end of a brief two-game homestand for Ottawa,
which has a strong 24-12-3 mark as the host club. The Sens have been
victorious in nine of their last 11 at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators are holding a slim 4-3 edge in this year's series with Montreal
as the teams meet for the final time in the regular season tonight. Ottawa has
won nine of the last 16 overall encounters with the Canadiens and has taken
six of the last eight matchups in the series on its home ice.
03/30 10:42:43 ET