The Canadiens (8-7-1) are in Ottawa to face the Senators (5-6-4) Thursday night at the Canadian Tire Centre, just their second divisional match-up of the season. The game is set to start at 7 and can be seen on CBC and RDS.
The Habs and Sens will renew their hostilities after they faced off in the first round of last season’s playoffs. Craig Anderson stole the show in that series, leading the Sens to a 4-1 series win and stopping a total of 171 of 180 shots including 48 of 50 in game 1.
This is the first of five meetings between the Habs and Sens this season.
What to Watch:
It will be interesting to see to what extent Michel Therrien uses PK Subban against the Senators. While Subban leads the team in assists (12) and points (15), he played a season low of 20:52 against the Blues on Tuesday, despite the fact that it was Montreal’s first game of the year to go past regulation time.
While last season’s Norris Trophy winner has had to contend with all sorts of controversy recently, his predecessor, Erik Karlsson has been on a tear. Karlsson has a 5-game point streak going with 4 goals and 5 assists during that span.
What’s at Stake:
This is Montreal’s first game against a conference rival since they faced the Rangers on October 28, and their first game against a division rival since their season opener against Toronto. The Habs have been held winless in their last three, so a regulation win in a 4-point game would definitely help turn things around in a hurry.
Travis Moen is expected to make his return to action against the Senators after missing the last 5 games with a broken orbital bone. Moen’s return spells the end of Louis Leblanc’s short stint with the Habs for the early part of the season, he was sent back down to Hamilton along with Martin St. Pierre. The Habs are still missing Alexei Emelin (knee), Daniel Briere (concussion), Brandon Prust (upper body) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder).
The Senators are without Craig Anderson (sore neck) and Erik Condra (leg).
After taking in Tuesday’s game from the press box, David Desharnais will make his return to the lineup Thursday night. Desharnais has been held to just 1 assist in his 15 games this year, and has been a far cry from the 60-point producer he was during the 2011-2012 campaign.
The Question Mark:
We want to hear from you, where does the Habs-Sens rivalry stack up and who is Montreal’s biggest rival going into this season?
Let us know what you think, leave a comment below or send us a tweet using the #MTLHockey hashtag.
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.