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Game 46: Ottawa Senators @ Montréal Canadiens

The Ottawa Senators will finish a three-game road trip in Montréal tonight, hoping to go a perfect 3-0-0. While the Canadiens are in turmoil, they are one of only three eastern conference teams that Ottawa has played and not beaten. The last time the two clubs met, Ottawa was routed 6-2 at home.

Brian Lee will be the healthy scratch and Matt Carkner will return. Craig Anderson will make his eight straight start tonight. Here are the projected lines:

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Erik Condra - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins - Zenon Konopka - Bobby Butler

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

Some discussions points follow after the jump but I just want to wish good luck to the New England Patriots tonight in their playoff game, the official NFL team of Silver Seven. [Mark here. The New England Patriots are not, and never will be, my official team. That makes Adnan a liar. Just sayin'.]

Here are some things to look out for tonight:

  • Craig Anderson workload: Anderson is making his eighth straight start and has played almost every night. Granted Ottawa's backup situation doesn't inspire confidence, but Anderson is still playing a lot of games.
  • Swapping Carkner/Lee: Paul MacLean mentioned he is just swapping Lee/Carkner in and out of the lineup to keep them both fresh. Is this a good strategy?
  • Punish weaker opponents: Ottawa was able to steal a win in New York against the league leaders. But can they dominate a weaker team like the Habs tonight? Ottawa has generally done well against teams below them, but are 0-2 against the Canadiens.
  • Erik Karlsson: Karlsson returned after missing one game by picking up another two assists. It wasn't the most flashy of efforts by Karlsson, but he did very well defensively. An interesting stat with him is that he hasn't had a game with only a solitary point since 13 December. He's had eight multipoint games and five games without a point. He's still been very consistent though, having only twice gone consecutive games without a point all year.