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

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The Habs need to stay on their toes versus a team with no other goal than to throw a wrench in an opponent’s playoff plans.

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

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: Sportsnet East, CityTV (English), TVA Sports (French)
Streaming: NHL.tv/NHL Live, Sportsnet Now

On many occasions this season, falling behind by two goals despite controlling the play would have discouraged the Canadiens, but on Friday night they kept pushing the pace with their transition game to climb out of the hole. Over the final 37 minutes of the game, the Habs outscored the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 to take a big win in the first half of a back-to-back weekend slate.

There were contributions from several lines to make up for some mishaps on the blue line, and two important goals on the power play to put Montreal on top in regulation. Montreal moved six points up on the Calgary Flames, and just four back of the third spot in the North Division.

Now the question is whether the Canadiens can keep up that level of play for a second game in 24 hours, a question that the team has answered with a resounding “no” since the first month of the season. If they can manage that versus Ottawa, they’d put even more pressure on the Jets, and also do something few teams have managed versus the Sens in recent weeks.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Senators
Canadiens Statistic Senators
21-18-9 Record 27-19-3
54.6% (2nd) Corsi-for pct. 48.2% (22nd)
2.83 (15th) Goals per game 3.06 (12th)
2.85 (15th) Goals against per game 2.78 (14th)
19.1% (21st) PP% 25.4% (4th)
77.1% (25th) PK% 80.2% (14th)
2-3-3 Head-to-head 6-2-0

Ottawa has lost just two times in their past eight games, splitting a series with Winnipeg, snatching another two points from the grasp of the Calgary Flames, and dispatching the Vancouver Canucks three times in four games to not only bring the Canucks’ post-COVID resurgence to a sudden halt, but also leap ahead of them in the division standings. It’s true they have had six more games to accumulate points, but even such a modest feat seemed nearly impossible after Ottawa’s 2-13 start to the year, and serves as a message of what the team could be able to accomplish with a bit more experience and several more introductions of their strong prospect pool in the next few years.

The Canadiens aren’t nearly as afraid of the Senators’ future status in the league as some other teams should be, because they have their own crop of up-and-coming players to match. Last night, a 21-year-old Nick Suzuki (our player of the month of April) had two goals including the game-winner. Cole Caufield is adapting to the NHL game at a similar pace to what we saw from Suzuki at the start of last season, and that without the benefit of a training camp to get up to speed. Even without a goal, or even a point, Caufield was one of the most impressive players for Montreal on Friday, controlling the play in the Jets’ zone despite how closely he was being watched. There were some questions about what his value would be if he wasn’t scoring goals at the NHL level, and a high-danger scoring chances for percentage of 88.9% through his first three games is putting most concerns to rest.

There’s also a 21-year-old netminder working his way up through the ranks. Cayden Primeau added an AHL All-Rookie Team nomination to his long list of accolades last year, and had settled into a nice routine with the Laval Rocket again this year before being called up. He didn’t have a great outing when called upon in Calgary on April 24, but one of the hallmarks of his short pro career is his ability to have an immediate recovery, and that’s what Dominique Ducharme was counting on when he tapped the young goalie for the start this evening.

One of Montreal’s young charges, Victor Mete, was lost on waivers at the trade deadline, and he’ll be wearing a Senators jersey to face the team that drafted him. In his most recent game he notched his first goal of the season, using his speed to get in on goal and contribute to his team’s mastery of the Canucks.

With Carey Price, Shea Weber, and Brendan Gallagher all out of the lineup, the young talent gets thrust up to the front lines. Tonight’s game will largely be a showcase of what the future holds for the rivalry between these two clubs.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jesperi Kotkaniemi Phillip Danault Josh Anderson
Tyler Toffoli Nick Suzuki Joel Armia
Artturi Lehkonen Jake Evans Cole Caufield
Michael Frolik Eric Staal Corey Perry

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Joel Edmundson Jeff Petry
Ben Chiarot Alexander Romanov
Brett Kulak Jon Merrill

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Cayden Primeau Jake Allen

Scratched: Erik Gustafsson
Injured/Ill: Jonathan Drouin, Brendan Gallagher, Carey Price, Tomas Tatar, Shea Weber

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
Ryan Dzingel Chris Tierney Connor Brown
Nick Paul Shane Pinto Michael Amadio

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
Marcus Hogberg Filip Gustavsson