How to watch
Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: Sportsnet
In the Canadiens/Senators region: RDS (French)
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Live
The Canadiens are riding a winning streak and are close to pushing the Winnipeg Jets out of third place in the North Division. After a bumpy and frustrating April, and missing some of their key players, who knew that we’d be saying that with just five games left to Montreal’s regular season?
It’s also proving that they’re not missing all of their key players. Twenty-year-old rookie Cole Caufield played a major part in getting the current three-game winning streak going, notching not one but two overtime goals; Nick Suzuki is beaming confidence again and has tallied seven points in his last three games while giving us those slick passes to enjoy once again; Jeff Petry is setting up his team and picking up some apples along the way, racking up eight points (1G, 7A) in the past five games; and Tyler Toffoli is still doing his Tyler Toffoli thing and lighting the lamp.
Just to name a few.
Tale of the Tape
|54.8% (2nd)||Corsi-for pct.||48.8% (16th)|
|2.88 (15th)||Goals per game||2.71 (20th)|
|2.82 (16th)||Goals against per game||3.40 (28th)|
|20.6% (16th)||PP%||16.0% (26th)|
|78.1% (23rd)||PK%||79.0% (20th)|
With six players still out of the lineup, we’re starting to see signs that they’ll begin making an appearance soon, if not for the remainder of the regular season at least by the time the playoffs roll around. Carey Price is expected to skate with the team today and join them in Toronto for Thursday and Saturday’s matchups against the Maple Leafs, while Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber and Tomas Tatar have all skated on their own.
A few of the Senators have also gotten banged up recently. It looks like Thomas Chabot and Josh Brown are expected to miss the team’s final four games. During Monday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, both players got “dinged up” and didn’t return. Chabot averages more than 26 minutes on ice per night, so the Senators are going to have quite the gap to fill.
Some fresh faces will be taking their place in the lineup. Rookie defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker, who made his NHL debut on April 14, will suit up for his second game with Ottawa, while 25-year-old Olle Alsing will step on the ice and make his NHL debut.
The Senators have been a thorn in the Canadiens’ side this season with Montreal having just a 4-3-2 record against them. And with the Senators continuing to show up each night and fully embracing the spoiler role, it really could be a flip-of-the-coin kind of game. However, the Canadiens have come from behind in their last three games and now have an overtime ace on their side, as Ottawa witnessed firsthand on Saturday when the Habs defeated them in overtime.
It was only a week or so ago that Montreal was holding on for dear life to that fourth and final playoff spot, but things really started to turn around for Montreal over the weekend.
In Monday night’s victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadiens’ special teams showed up. After receiving a beautiful cross-ice pass from Suzuki, Toffoli found the back of the net for a power-play goal, and the penalty-kill unit had their work cut out for them when the Canadiens took two consecutive penalties. Everyone seems to be jiving and it couldn’t be coming at a better time.
Simply put, Jake Allen nailed it on Tuesday when he said, “It’s a good vibe right now and we have to keep it going.”