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Montreal Canadiens (26-17-4) at Ottawa Senators (17-24-7) – January 21,

Two beat-up Canadian squads face off against each other tonight, as the
Ottawa Senators host the Montreal Canadiens.  Tonight marks the fifth time
these two teams have met this season, with the Canadiens winning 3 of the 4
games thus far.  Their last game was played on December 7th, and Montreal
won at home by a score of 4-1.  The Senators have been struggling mightily
of late, going 1-6-3 over their last 10 games.  After a significant slump
in December, the Canadiens have seemingly turned things around; they have gained
at least a point in 8 of their last 9 games, and have gone 6-2-2 in their last

Carey Price (23-15-4, 2.34 GAA, .921 SV%) is expected in net for the
Canadiens tonight, and is 4-1-1 in his last 6 appearances for the Canadiens. 
As Brian Elliot (12-17-6, 3.12 GAA, .897 SV%) was in net for all 6 goals in last
night’s 6-2 loss to Philadelphia, it seems like Mike Brodeur (0-0-0, 2.53 GAA,
.889 SV%) will get the start for Ottawa.  Despite only starting 3 games in
the NHL, "the other Brodeur" has actually recorded a win against Montreal; a 4-2
victory on January 16th, 2010.  Price is a career 7-5-0 against Ottawa,
with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

Tomas Plekanec (14-22-36) continues to lead the way for the Canadiens’
scorers, but is followed closely by the now-injured Mike Cammalleri (13-18-31)
and James Wisniewski (5-26-31).  Brian Gionta (15-9-24) leads the Canadiens
in goals scored, but hasn’t recorded a goal (or point) in his last 5 games
despite launching 14 shots on net.  The Swedes Daniel Alfredsson (14-13-27)
and Erik Karlsson (8-19-27) lead the Senators, who have often struggled to score
this year. Nevertheless, Alfredsson has historically ravaged the Canadiens,
recording 101 points (29 goals, 72 assists) in just 79 games for 1.28 points per

The powerplay units for both squads are ranked mid-pack, but Montreal’s
conversion rate (19.2%) ranks slightly higher than that of Ottawa (16.9%). 
It is a different story when it comes to penalty-killing, as Montreal’s
2nd-ranked unit has killed 85.9% of their penalties while Ottawa is 81.2% on the
PK. In the season-series thus far, Montreal has gone 3 for 20 (15%) on the
powerplay, while the Senators have gone 2 for 11 (18.1%).

Montreal will be short a few key members of the team tonight, as Andrei
Markov (knee), Josh Gorges (knee), Mike Cammalleri (shoulder), and Jeff Halpern
(upper body) are out with injuries.  After taking a James Wisniewski
slapshot to the ribs, Max Pacioretty is questionable for tonight’s tilt,
although he did participate in yesterday’s practice.  Andreas Engqvist and
Ryan White were called up from Hamilton, and Engqvist should suit up tonight for
his first NHL game.  Ottawa will be without Jason Spezza (shoulder) and Pascal
Leclaire (lower body). Alex Kovalev (knee) is slated to return to Ottawa’s lineup to face his old team.

Game-time is 7:30 EST and the game can be seen on RDS and Sportsnet East.

Preview written by
Matt Dilworth