Coming off a nail-biting 5-4 victory Saturday evening over the rival New York Rangers, the Montreal Canadiens will begin a four-game road trip Monday night with a tilt in the nation's capital against the Ottawa Senators.
Montreal (3-7-1) just wrapped up their strongest offensive week of the season, posting two wins in three games; against the Florida Panthers 5-1 Tuesday and Saturday's 5-4 win versus the Blueshirts. Forward Phillip Danault had the best game of his NHL career, notching four points (two goals and two assists).
Their lone loss in the week was a 4-0 shutout against the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Monday's game will be the first time the Habs play versus Ottawa (5-1-5) in the 2017-18 season. The two teams met twice in the pre-season with each team having a blowout victory. The Senators took the first one 5-1 on September 23 at the Canadian Tire Centre. A week later at the Bell Centre, Montreal had the upper hand, pouring on the offence with a huge 9-2 win. That game was led by a pair of goals by both forward Jacob de la Rose and rookie defender Victor Mete.
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Tale of the Tape
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The Senators' season has been an odd one, with more losses than wins, and yet have taken points in 10 of 11 games. After back-to-back shootout losses to begin the new campaign, they traveled to Western Canada, where they strung together three big wins against the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, outscoring those opponents 15-3 through the streak.
Right wing Mark Stone is leading the team in goals (7) and points (12) thus far, and he's currently tied with centre Derick Brassard with a +11 rating through 11 games. Captain Erik Karlsson, who missed the team's first five games of the season recovering from off-season surgery, seems to be in mid-season form with nine assists through six games.
In their last game, the Sens dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the New Jersey Devils Friday evening. There was one positive as forward Chris DiDomenico, who was drafted way back in 2007, finally scored his first NHL goal.
Montreal and Ottawa have been developing a rivalry in recent years. The games are often tightly contested, including those last season, which saw two of their five games go to a shootout with either side taking a game.
Both teams will be fighting it out at the Canadian Tire Centre in the first of four matchups on the season.