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Game 51 Preview and Open Thread: Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators

Sens or get Sens’d

NHL: OCT 07 Preseason - Senators at Canadiens Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s late February and the Ottawa Senators finally get a chance to pile on the misery of the Montreal Canadiens. Sure, the Habs find themselves on a four-game winning streak but even a broken clock gets it right twice a day.

The Sens rolled out these lines at practice and DJ Smith confirmed Matt Murray will be the starter:

Tkachuk - Stützle - Gaudette
Sanford - Paul - Brown
Formenton - Tierney - Ennis
Kelly - White - Watson

Chbabot - Zub
Holden - Zaitsev
Brannstrom - Brown

Meanwhile, Montreal implemented these lines in their most recent game (a shutout win over Buffalo on Wednesday):

Caufield - Suzuki - Anderson
Hoffman - Dauphin - Gallagher
Pitlick - Evans - Byron
Pezzetta - Poehling - Lehkonen

Romanov- Chiarot
Kulak- Petry
Clague - Wideman

Game Notes

  • Ottawa has the rare statistical advantage almost across the board (especially in terms of goaltending). Everything about this game screams, “Trap!” so we’ll see if the Sens can reverse the Burglar’s curse. Rest is indeed a weapon. But whom does it serve?
  • Although Erik Brännström skated as Ottawa’s seventh defender at practice he also ran the point on the second powerplay unit for drills in practice and Smith announced no changes to the line-up this morning. Are we a bad Branny game away from another healthy scratch?
  • In some definitively positive news, Colin White will make his season debut. A lot of people have opinions about White and his value to this team, and I cannot emphasize enough that if you don’t have anything nice to say about White then I implore you to stay the hell away from my family and I. He scores a hat trick in this game but his shirt is inside-out or something for comedic effect.
  • In terms of homecomings, Mike Hoffman (boo him if you want to) and Chris Wideman (applaud him but not too much) will make their returns to Ottawa as Canadiens while the legend himself Andrew Hammond (applaud him a lot) starts against the Senators for the first time in his unconventional NHL career.
  • Among those big names absent from Montreal during this abysmal season, Jonathan Drouin remains on the injured reserve while questions remain as to whether we’ll see the likes of Shea Weber or Carey Price in town again. Marc Bergevin definitely was an NHL GM.
  • I should also note that after the Habs went out on a big shopping spree to maintain the momentum of the playoff run last season, that have little to show for their investments as Chistian Dvorak, David Savard, and Mathieu Perreault also find themselves on the injured reserve.
  • And finally, in an effort to tie up as many loose ends as possible in this first game against Montreal in several COVID mutations, Kent Hughes now serves as general manager (with Vincent Lecavalier as an advisor) and Martin St. Louis has taken over as head coach (they still have two former Sens as assistants by the way!). The circus, it comes to town.

Where to watch/listen: TVA, SN/City, TSN1200 @ 7PM EST



Game 51 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Game 51 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 18 Josh Anderson 12
Assists Thomas Chabot 22 Nick Suzuki 22
Points Brady Tkachuk 37 Nick Suzuki 33
Shots Brady Tkachuk 171 Nick Suzuki 116
TOI Thomas Chabot 26:48 Ben Chiarot 23:20


Game 51 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Game 51 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Category Rank # Rank #
Goals 25th 2.64 31st 2.27
Goals against 22nd 3.14 32nd 3.75
Shots 19th 29.79 24th 29.10
Shots against 28th 33.64 29th 34.02
Powerplay 27th 16.6% 31st 12.6%
Penalty Kill 13th 80.9% 30th 74.4%
Corsi (5V5SVA) 24th 46.6% 30th 45.4%
xGoals (5V5SVA) 24th 46.8% 31st 44.0%