After halting a five-game losing streak, it seems as though the Montreal Canadiens have been rejuvenated, winning their last two as they prepare to host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday evening.
The Canadiens (10-12-3) broke out of the slump with a 3-0 shutout victory on Saturday night, thanks to all-star goaltender Carey Price. Price, who hadn't played since November 2, made 36 saves en route to his 40th NHL career shutout.
Then, this past Monday, they Habs faced off against the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets, extinguishing a six-game winning streak by beating them 3-1. Two quick goals in the first period by forwards Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin put them up on top, and an empty-netter by Andrew Shaw helped seal the victory. In between those two events, Price shut the door, stopping 37 of 38 shots for his second victory in as many tries in his return to the lineup.
Gallagher's goal was a team-leading 10th of the season, and Drouin's goal, the eventual game-winner, was his first in nine games. Drouin still leads all Montreal players with 16 points.
Columbus got their lone tally by another Quebecer, the third-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Pierre-Luc Dubois, who scored the fourth goal of his rookie campaign.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now
In the Canadiens/Senators region: RDS (French)
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|0.75||5v5 goal ratio||0.91|
While the Canadiens are getting back into their winning ways, their opponent on Wednesday night could also use a little magic. The Senators (8-8-6) are mired in their longest drought of the season, having not won in six straight (0-5-1). In fact, they haven't won since winning back-to-back games in the Sweden Classic, where they took two straight 4-3 games against the Colorado Avalanche.
Forward Mark Stone is currently leading the team in goals (13), points (23), and +/- with a +12. Team captain Erik Karlsson, who missed his team's first five games of the season recovering from surgery, has one goal and 17 points through as many games.
2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winner Craig Anderson has been struggling to find his form this season, going 7-8-3 with only one shutout and a save percentage under .900; similar numbers to Price’s current marks.
However the last time these two teams met, it was an offensive onslaught by the Canadiens, as they won handily 8-3 in Ottawa back on October 30. Montreal forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Charles Hudon led the way, each notching a pair of goals. The two goals by Hudon were the first of his NHL career.
Backup goaltender Al Montoya made 25 saves for Montreal, while Anderson allowed six goals on 15 shots before being replaced by former Canadien Mike Condon to start the third period. Karlsson had a woeful night, finishing as a -6.
We'll see which Canadiens and Senators teams come to play on Wednesday evening.