The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens are among the NHL’s
top defensive teams, but the banged-up Senators are dealing with an
injury to starting goaltender Craig Anderson.
Anderson could be out again as Ottawa’s tries to extend a
season-high win streak to five Monday night against the visiting
Canadiens, winners in six of seven.
The Senators are allowing 1.8 goals per game and their starting
goaltender has played a big part in that success with a 1.49
goals-against average in 15 contests. Anderson, though, sprained
his ankle in Thursday’s shootout win over the New York Rangers and
reportedly won’t return until the start of a five-game road trip in
Boston on Feb. 28, at the earliest.
Ben Bishop kept the Senators rolling by earning that shootout
victory then stopped 26 shots in a 3-2 home win over Toronto on
Saturday. Colin Greening led his team to a fourth straight victory
with a career high-tying three points, including the tiebreaking
goal with 24 seconds left.
Along with Anderson’s injury, Ottawa (11-6-2) is playing without
reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, who is set to miss the
season while recovering from a lacerated Achilles tendon. Jason
Spezza (back), Milan Michalek (knee), Peter Regin (chest),
Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash) and Jared Cowen (hip) are also
among the team’s ailing players.
“It feels great to be able to put a streak like this together,”
captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “We’ve had guys step up.”
The Senators will try to rely on their depth again to get past
the Canadiens, who are allowing 2.1 goals per game and have
excelled defensively during much of their 6-0-1 stretch. Montreal
has allowed one goal or fewer in five of those games, and is coming
off Saturday’s 3-0 win over the New York Rangers.
Carey Price faced only 17 shots in earning his second shutout in
four games and record Montreal’s third in six contests. He had
given up four goals in his previous start, an overtime loss to the
New York Islanders on Thursday.
The Canadiens (12-4-2) have helped Price and Peter Budaj, who
has yielded one goal over his last two games, by holding three of
their past five opponents to fewer than 20 shots.
“We have a style to play. It’s a demanding style, but we want to
be a team that’s tough to play against,” coach Michel Therrien
Ottawa posted a 33-32 shot advantage in Montreal on Feb. 3, but
lost 2-1 as Price outdueled Anderson. Neither team scored after
Erik Cole’s goal with 8:31 left in the first period.
The teams have split their last six matchups but the Senators
have outscored the Canadiens 7-2 in winning the past two at
They earned their most recent home win over Montreal on Jan. 30
with Budaj in net, but might have to face Price, who is 7-0-2 with
a 1.41 GAA in his last nine matchups.
Bishop is 1-0-1 with a 1.41 GAA in two career starts versus the
If Bishop starts again, he might want to keep an eye out for
Cole. The winger has eight goals and five assists in his last 12
games against Ottawa.
The Senators are seeking their first five-game home win streak
since a run of seven from Jan. 19-Feb. 11, 2010, and the Canadiens
are trying to earn a fourth straight road win for the first time
since March 5, 2011.