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

Sens or get Sens’d

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 51OttawaSenatorsMontrealCanadiens
GoalsJosh Norris18Josh Anderson12
AssistsThomas Chabot22Nick Suzuki22
PointsBrady Tkachuk37Nick Suzuki33
ShotsBrady Tkachuk171Nick Suzuki116
TOIThomas Chabot26:48Ben Chiarot23:20


Game 51OttawaSenatorsMontrealCanadiens
Goals against22nd3.1432nd3.75
Shots against28th33.6429th34.02
Penalty Kill13th80.9%30th74.4%
Corsi (5V5SVA)24th46.6%30th45.4%
xGoals (5V5SVA)24th46.8%31st44.0%

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