NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 13th
(All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (25-14-5) at Ottawa Senators (25-19-2), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The surging Ottawa Senators look to maintain their strong
recent form when the rival Montreal Canadiens invade Scotiabank Place this
afternoon for a key Northeast Division showdown.
Ottawa has won three straight and eight of its last 10 games despite missing
star center Jason Spezza, who remains sidelined with a knee injury and is not
expected to return until after the All-Star break. The Senators had to hang on
for their latest win, however, as the club nearly blew a five-goal lead in
Thursday's 6-4 triumph over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Patrick Eaves paced Ottawa with two goals while Daniel Alfredsson and Dany
Heatley each recorded a goal and two assists on the night. Goaltender Ray
Emery stopped all 28 shots he faced over the first two periods, but yielded
four New York goals in the third after the Senators had built a 5-0 advantage.
Heatley sealed the win, however, with an empty-net tally with 33.7 seconds
Emery finished with 38 saves for the game.
Wade Redden finished with a pair of assists and has now recorded a point in
five consecutive games, having notched a goal and seven helpers over that
Ottawa, which starts up a three-game homestand this afternoon, is just 11-10-1
at Scotiabank Place on the season but has won five of its last seven as the
Montreal currently stands fourth in the Eastern Conference playoff standings
with 55 points, three more than the Senators and Carolina. The Canadiens are
also currently on a winning run, having posted victories over Atlanta and
Philadelphia in their two most recent tilts.
The Habs started a three-game road swing in fine fashion on Thursday, as Chris
Higgins recorded a goal and an assist to lead the way in a 4-2 triumph over
Mike Johnson, Alex Kovalev and Michael Ryder also had goals for Montreal,
which snapped a three-game road losing streak. Tomas Plekanec and Andrei
Markov each donated a pair of assists to the win, while David Aebischer
stopped 34 shots.
The Canadiens own an 11-8-2 road mark thus far and conclude the trek Monday in
Montreal has won six of its last eight matchups with the Senators, including
two straight in the series. The Habs have also came away with victories in
their two most recent visits to Ottawa, including a 6-3 decision on November
01/13 10:27:30 ET