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Canadiens vs. Senators: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

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It’s another game versus a hard-working team on Saturday afternoon.

Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

How to watch

Start time: **4:00 PM EDT / 1:00 PM PDT**
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Senators region: TSN5 (English), RDS (French)
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Live

The Canadiens needed a good effort and a crucial win in Saturday’s rematch with the Calgary Flames. They got one of those two things, and fortunately it was the more important two points that erased the gains the Flames had made two nights earlier. Calgary can afford few losses over the final month of the season, and one to the only team they have a shot at catching is a major hit to their chances.

With Montreal still the same six points up, with the same three games in hand they had to start the week, but Cagary down to just 12 games remaining, the Canadiens can afford to rotate some players out of the lineup to rest bodies for the post-season berth that should be in their future. They can’t afford to take their foot off the gas, but they can make a few driver swaps in the pit stops during the marathon finish.

Like the Flames did, the Canadiens have designs on moving up in the standings, and the Edmonton Oilers are well within reach. Montreal is certainly looking forward to the two upcoming games at Rogers Place to close that gap, but first their focus has to be on today’s opponent: the spirited Ottawa Senators.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Senators
Canadiens Statistic Senators
19-13-9 Record 14-26-4
55.0% (2nd) Corsi-for pct. 49.0% (16th)
3.02 (12th) Goals per game 2.64 (21st)
2.73 (13th) Goals against per game 3.70 (31st)
19.8% (16th) PP% 15.9% (27th)
77.3% (23rd) PK% 76.1% (25th)
3-2-2 Head-to-head 4-3-0

Montreal has a 3-2-2 record versus the Senators in a season series that has been quite close. The most lopsided decisions have come in the past two games, with a 4-1 win for Montreal followed up with the same three-goal margin of victory for Ottawa in a 6-3 decision at the start of April.

Despite that loss, Josh Anderson had one of his best performances of the season, with two goals, and has a total of four, plus an assist, in the season series. Tyler Toffoli, meanwhile, has scored in each of the last three games he’s played versus the Senators, and comes into the game just a few hours after grabbing all the offence in Friday’s 2-1 win over Calgary. As they have all season, those two forwards will be relied upon to keep things rolling and earn Montreal back-to-back wins.

Unlike in Montreal yesterday after a taxi-squad recall for Cole Caufield, there are no questions about whether the Senators’ young prospects will play today. Their sights have been on the future for a few seasons now, and they’re beginning to introduce a lot of quality talent to the NHL roster. One of Caufield’s fellow Hobey Baker finallists, Shane Pinto, will be making his NHL debut today, getting to call to centre a line in the big leagues.

We’re also sure to see a highly motivated Victor Mete in a Sens jersey after he had such a hard time getting into Montreal’s lineup this year. He’d certainly love to make a few end-to-end rushes and contribute on offence, but his head coach has a preference for a different type of game from his defence (as his obvious issues with playing Erik Brannstrom in a meaningless season prove), so the leash may not be very long for the former Hab. With some of his more trusted blue-liners shipped out the deadline, D.J. Smith doesn’t have much choice about who he plays, so we’re sure to see a lot of the player now wearing #98.

The Canadiens will keep the lineup intact from yesterday’s game, but Carey Price will draw into the lineup to test out his injury in what amounts to a meaningless game on the schedule. Caufield’s place on the taxi squad will also be secure for the upcoming Alberta road trip, and it’s possible we’ll see him in a one of those five games when the salary-cap situations allows it, but at least for today he’ll be a spectator once again.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Tomas Tatar Phillip Danault Paul Byron
Jonathan Drouin Jesperi Kotkaniemi Josh Anderson
Tyler Toffoli Nick Suzuki Joel Armia
Artturi Lehkonen Eric Staal Corey Perry

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Joel Edmundson Jeff Petry
Ben Chiarot Shea Weber
Alexander Romanov Brett Kulak

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Carey Price Jake Allen

Scratched: Jake Evans
Injured: Brend Gallagher (broken thumb)
COVID unavailable list: Erik Gustafsson, Jon Merrill

Ottawa Senators projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Brady Tkachuk Josh Norris Drake Batherson
Tim Stützle Colin White Evgenii Dadonov
Nick Paul Chris Tierney Ryan Dzingel
Alex Formenton Shane Pinto Connor Brown

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Thomas Chabot Nikita Zaitsev
Erik Brannstrom Artem Zub
Victor Mete Josh Brown

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Matt Murray Anton Forsberg