The Canadiens (35-25-7) are home to host the Senators (28-25-12) Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The game is set to start at 7:00 and airs on RDS and CBC.
This is the fourth of five matches between the Habs and Sens this season and the last one in Montreal. The last two games between these team have gone to overtime. The Canadiens earned their first win in the season series the last time these teams met, PK Subban scored the OT winner. Tomas Plekanec scored a pair in the 5-4 win, he has just one goal in 19 games since.
What to Watch:
It looks like Michel Therrien will have new line combinations in place for Saturday night. If the lines from Friday's practice hold, Brendan Gallagher will be reunited with Alex Galchenyuk and the struggling Lars Eller, while Thomas Vanek will play alongside Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. Vanek earned his first point as a Hab in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Bruins, an assist on Desharnais' goal.
After missing much of last season with injury, Erik Karlsson is again the Senators most potent threat with 17 goals and 58 points. Karlsson leads all defensemen in points this season, with 7 more than Duncan Keith in second. Jason Spezza has 6 points in his last two games, which brings him up to 53 points in 60 games played this season.
What's at Stake:
The Canadiens are looking to put an end to their three game losing streak and keep pace with the Maple Leafs and Lightning in the race for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs are three points ahead of the Habs with one more game played, and the Bolts hold a game in hand on the Canadiens and are tied with them in the standings.
Carey Price (lower body) has yet to play a game since winning Gold in Sochi, but he could be set for a return this weekend, either Saturday against the Sens or Sunday against the Sabres. Josh Gorges (hand) and Michael Bournival (concussion) are still out, though Bournival has been cleared for contact and could be close to a return.
The Senators are missing starting goalie Craig Anderson (shoulder) while Cody Ceci (head) is questionable.
The Canadiens are playing their 13th set of back-to-back games this weekend, they head to Buffalo after Saturday's game to face the Sabres on Sunday. Of the 15 games left this season, the Habs will play 8 of them in back-to-back situations. November was the team's busiest month for back-to-back scenarios, they played 4 sets of games on Friday and Saturday night, ending with a modest 4-3-1 record in those situations.
The Question Mark:
We want to hear from you, how satisfied are you with Peter Budaj's performance in Price's absence?
Let us know what you think, leave a comment or send us a tweet by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.
Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
12:02 PM Rob Elbaz No comments