After another incredible start to the season, the Habs found themselves in a bit of a slump last week. With the return of off-season signee Alexander Radulov, they were able to turn things around and get a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Tonight versus the Ottawa Senators, they will try to turn it into a hot streak in preparation for a lengthy road trip.
The Senators proved to be the only team able to beat the Canadiens in the early going, responsible for the need to add “and one“ to the end of their win-loss record after an otherwise perfect start through ten games.
With that contest ending in a shootout, and a pre-season meeting needing overtime to decide a winner just days earlier, tonight’s game may also extend past the 60-minute mark.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: Sportsnet East, RDS2
In the Senators region: TSN5, RDS2
Elsewhere: Rogers GameCentre Live/NHL.tv, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|50.9||Score-Adjusted Corsi %||46.8|
|1.54||5v5 Goal Ratio||0.65|
Far from the squad that finished in the top 10 for goals scored last season, only the Buffalo Sabres have scored fewer goals than the 2016-17 iteration of the Senators. Montreal has scored more goals at five-on-five than the Senators have in all situations this season.
A major reason for that anemic performance in a putrid power play, which also ranks second-last in the NHL. Top scorers last year, like Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman, simply haven’t been getting on the scoresheet, and even Erik Karlsson is in a slump by his established standards, with just three goals through 18 contests.
The team is getting some crucial offence from Kyle Turris, who leads the team with eight goals, and rookie Ryan Dzingel has potted five for the club.
While that half of their special teams is struggling mightily, their penalty kill is among the league’s best. At four-versus-five they’ve allowed just five goals and scored two of their own. With Montreal’s revamped power play (sitting fifth in the league at the time of this writing), it will be an interesting duel to keep an eye on.
Despite the goal-scoring struggles the Senators have faced, the team still sits just one spot out of a wild-card position, tied in points but with one extra game played than the New Jersey Devils.
They have the personnel to break out of their offensive funk at any moment, so the Habs will have to be cautious about going in expecting an easy win over their newest rival. In the recent history between these team, easy wins for either side have been very rare to come by.