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Game 43 Preview: Canadiens de Montréal @ Ottawa Senators

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Ottawa returns home after a lacklustre road trip to take on les Habitants.

Chris Phillips shows his butterfly still needs a lot of work
Chris Phillips shows his butterfly still needs a lot of work
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

After a road trip that saw the Senators go 1-2-1, beating only the lowly Coyotes, they return to take on les Canadiens de Montréal in a #ThrowbackThursday matchup. There are two changes to personnel: Craig Anderson will start in goal, and Patrick Wiercioch will draw back in for Chris Phillips. Additionally, Mark Stone's last game got him "promoted" to the third line with Milan Michalek and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Below are the complete lines and pairings courtesy of Sylvain St-Laurent:

MacArthur - Turris - Chiasson
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Pageau - Stone
Condra - Legwand - Lazar

Méthot - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Wiercioch - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Here are the presumed Candiens' lines and pairings:

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Gallagher
Prust - Galchenyuk - Parenteau
Desharnais - Eller - Weise
Sekac - Malhotra - Bournival

Markov - Subban
Beaulieu - Gonchar
Emelin - Gilbert

Tokarski (starter)
Price

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Canadiens are on the second-half of a back-to-back, which is why Carey Price may get a rare night off in favour of Dustin Tokarski.
  • Tokarski was one of only three Habs to take an optional skate this morning (the other two being healthy scratches Mike Weaver and Christian Thomas)
  • Meanwhile for the Sens, Anderson is back in net after Lehner had a mediocre showing in Dallas, where none of his goals allowed were bad, but a timely save could've won the game. Nichols had a fantastic piece about Lehner this morning.
  • Why is Alex Chiasson on the top line? The best argument at this point seems to be that the team wants to show the Jason Spezza trade was worth it
  • Pageau feasts on the Habs at home, right? I wonder if we'll ever hit a point in his career where he isn't linked to that one playoff hat-trick. As Alfie would say, "Probably not."
  • Ottawa is currently 10 points back of the last wild card spot, while only 13 points ahead of last place in the league
  • Since Dave Cameron took over, Ottawa has allowed 29.4 shots per game while taking 31.9 shots per game. Those would put them 18th and 4th in the league respectively in those categories if that represented the whole season.
  • This will be the All-Snub battle, as P.K. Subban takes on Erik Karlsson, and Max Pacioretty takes on Bobby Ryan. Oh, wait...
  • This game will also feature two of the All-Star game young stars, as Jiri Sekac has been named as Tanner Pearson's replacement. Mike Hoffman had already been selected to play.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com.

Category Ottawa Montréal
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 15 Max Pacioretty 20
Assists Erik Karlsson 22 P.K. Subban 19
Points Bobby Ryan 30 Max Pacioretty 35
Shots Erik Karlsson 156 Max Pacioretty 153
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:14 P.K. Subban 25:11

Category Ottawa Montréal
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.64 19th 2.60 22nd
Goals Against 2.71 21st 2.29 3rd
EV Corsi % 49.50% 19th 48.60% 24th
EV Fenwick % 47.44% 24th 48.74% 20th
Shots For 30.0 16th 27.5 25th
Shots Against 32.6 26th 30.2 21st