Comments / New

Canadiens vs Senators: Game Preview, Start Time, and TV Schedule

The Montreal Canadiens continue their season-opening road-trip on Saturday night as they visit the Canadian Tire Centre to take on the division rival Ottawa Senators.

Left on the sidelines for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs were both the Habs and Senators; two teams who will hope to right that wrong in their 2016-17 campaigns. Of course, each side got off on the right foot earlier this week, getting two points apiece in their season openers. Only one side can emerge undefeated tonight.

For the Habs, they’ll need to once again do it without the help of Carey Price. Al Montoya takes the reins in Ottawa tonight as the Canadiens’ starter remains out of service with an illness. Habs fans can take solace in the fact that Montoya looked up to the task in Buffalo on Thursday, and should have no problem stepping in for Price when needed this season.

How to Watch

Start Time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PDT

In Canada: City (English), TVA Sports (French)

Stream: NHL GameCentre Live, Sportsnet Now

The Senators, meanwhile, are expected to ice a mostly complete lineup, other than the notable absence of Clarke MacArthur, who suffered a concussion in training camp. With a roster mostly intact from last season, with notable additions of Derrick Brassard and a new coaching staff, the expectations in the nation’s capital are certainly those of a playoff team.

If the Senators are to make a post-season appearance, however, it likely won’t be with performances akin to the one they had on Wednesday night as they hosted Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Having been heavily out-possessed (with a 34.6 Corsi-for percentage at even strength), along with some noteworthy defensive lapses, the Senators were lucky to leave with two points.

This is nothing new in Ottawa, either. The Senators ranked 24th in even-strength puck possession in the entire league last year, something the club will certainly hope can change under the tutelage of Guy Boucher and Marc Crawford, though it may take time to adjust to a new system.

Undoubtedly, the Senators have the players to do it. Erik Karlsson is considered by many to be the best defenceman in the National Hockey League, and the likes of Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone have the ability to threaten opposing goaltenders on a nightly basis.

Brassard, meanwhile, is likely a lateral move at best for Ottawa, who lost Mika Zibanejad to acquire him. Still, he provides some solid centre depth along with Kyle Turris, and more of a veteran presence up the middle.

The Canadiens, of course, aren’t free from criticism, either. While the scoreboard showed a dominant victory in Buffalo on Thursday, there were aspects of their play that raised legitimate concern. The Senators, more so than the injury-riddled Sabres, have the personnel to take advantage of holes in the Habs game, so this contest will be one in which it is essential for each side to polish their game.

Support Habs Eyes On The Prize by signing up for Norton 360