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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 left.

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 span.

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 host.

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 the Flyers.

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 Detroit.

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 13.

01/13 10:27:30 ET


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