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Game 37 Preview and Open Thread: Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators

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After a lengthy break, the rested and recharged Ottawa Senators will welcome the Montreal Canadiens back to the Canadian Tire Centre for another instalment of the Habs vs. Sens season series.

Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

It’s felt like an eternity since the last time the Ottawa Senators played an NHL game but, in reality, it’s been exactly one week since Ottawa’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs. While you never wanted to see a loss, that one enabled the Sens to extend their point streak to six games, as they’re now 3-0-3 in that span.

Tonight is the sixth meeting between these two clubs, with the Sens holding a 3-2-0 record against their Quebec rivals. The last meeting between these two clubs was almost exactly a month ago when Montreal beat Ottawa 3-1 on the 2nd of March. Since that game, the Senators are 4-5-3.

The biggest storyline in the past month has been Ottawa’s goaltending. With Matt Murray missing much of the last few weeks, we’ve seen three different goaltenders start for the Sens in Joey Daccord, Filip Gustavsson and Anton Forsberg. Gustavsson, who will get the nod tonight, has a 0.973 SV% in three starts and the Sens are 2-0-1 with him between the pipes.

In Head Coach DJ Smith’s media availability, he said the team will head into tonight refreshed and recharged, with no lineup changes. Here’s how you can expect the team to line up for puck drop tonight:

Tkachuk - Norris - Dadonov
Stützle - Tierney - Batherson
Paul - White - C. Brown
Dzingel - Bishop - Formenton

Chabot - Zaitsev
Reilly - Zub
Coburn - J. Brown

Gustavsson
Forsberg

Game Notes:

  • Thomas Chabot continues to be a workhorse for the Senators and I don’t think we should expect anything different in tonight’s game against Montreal. With Brayden Coburn and Josh Brown back in the lineup, it’s likely Chabot and fellow left handed defender Mike Reilly will get the bulk of the minutes. In his last five games, Chabot has skated for less than 30 minutes just once (28:03 against Calgary).
  • Gustavsson gets the start again and fans will be hoping his stellar first few games weren’t a flash in the pan but rather what we can expect from the Swedish netminder long term.
  • DJ Smith is keeping his lines in tact, which includes the line of Tim Stützle, Chris Tierney and Drake Batherson. Together, over the span of 75 minutes of ice time, has a 55.78 CF%, out chancing their opponents 82 to 65. Smith clearly likes what he sees when this line is together.
  • Alex Formenton is sticking in the lineup for his third game of the season. He managed 10 minutes of ice in his first game which grew to 12:44 in his second, where he also scored a goal. Against Toronto, Formenton was one of the leaders in penalty kill time for the Sens, logging 2:02, third amongst forwards.
  • The Montreal Canadiens are coming into the game tonight fresh off a win against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. They are 5-2-3 in their last 10. Jake Allen will get the start.

Team Stats

Game 20 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Game 20 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk 11 Tyler Toffoli 18
Assists Thomas Chabot 17 Jonathan Drouin 19
Points Brady Tkachuk 22 Tyler Toffoli 27
Shots Brady Tkachuk 150 Brendan Gallagher 98
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 26:32 Shea Weber 22:57