Canadiens-Senators Preview

The Montreal Canadiens are dealing with a slew of injuries, but

might be getting some timely relief with a visit to the last-place

Ottawa Senators.

The Canadiens look to withstand the possible absence of up to

four forwards as they try to beat the spiraling Senators for the

fourth time in five meetings Friday night.

Montreal (26-17-4) was already dealing with several injuries

before early first-period exits from Michael Cammalleri and Max

Pacioretty in Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime loss at Buffalo.

Cammalleri left with a separated shoulder after being shoved

into the boards from behind, while Pacioretty was hit in the right

arm by a slap shot and was taken to a hospital for precautionary

reasons.

Pacioretty could be back Friday, but Cammalleri’s status appears

to be clouded. He missed two games last week with a virus and had a

goal and two assists in his first two games before getting hurt

Tuesday.

“It’s unfortunate. I was excited to get back from being sick. We

still have some tests to do to try determine exactly what’s going

on, so I don’t really know what it’s going to look like as far as

timelines go,” Cammalleri told the team’s official website. “You

just have to try and stay optimistic and keep going.”

The Canadiens could also be without center Jeff Halpern (upper

body) and left wing Benoit Pouliot (flu), while they’re already

missing defensemen Andrei Markov (knee) and Josh Gorges for the

rest of the season.

Montreal has recalled centers Andreas Engqvist and Ryan White

from Hamilton of the AHL. Engqvist is poised for his NHL debut,

while White had two assists in 16 games with Montreal last

season.

“Engqvist is a great forward, he’s a big guy with a lot of

talent and he plays great on the PK,” rookie center David

Desharnais said. “White is one of the guys with the most character

that I’ve seen in my time playing hockey. He’s a warrior who’s

never scared, never backs down from anything. He’s a great guy and

a great teammate and I’m glad that he’s going to be here.”

Desharnais has two goals and one assist in eight games since

being called up from Hamilton last month.

Tomas Plekanec leads Montreal with 36 points, but most of that

production has come at home. He has just two of his 14 goals and 10

of his 22 assists in 21 road games. Plekanec has four points in

four season meetings with Ottawa (17-24-7), helping Montreal win

three.

Cammalleri and Halpern had goals in a 4-1 win in the latest

matchup Dec. 7.

The Senators are at the bottom of the Northeast Division due to

a 1-7-3 stretch that has seen them outscored 42-19.

They lost 6-2 to Philadelphia on Thursday in a game marred by

126 penalty minutes, 10 fighting majors and four game

misconducts.

“At least we’re not rolling over and playing dead. We have a lot

of fight in us,” said left wing Nick Foligno, who had a goal and

was involved in his first fight of the season Thursday. “It’s just

frustrating we’re not getting the wins.”

Brian Elliott is 0-7-3 with a 3.70 goals-against average since

getting his last win against Pittsburgh on Dec. 26. He’s been

pulled three times in that span, and has lost two of three starts

against the Canadiens this season.

Backup Mike Brodeur hasn’t started since making 30 saves in a

4-2 win at Montreal on Jan. 16, 2010.