Game 74 Preview: Senators @ Canadiens

A preview of tonight's game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.

Third time's the charm, right?

Last weekend, the Senators had two glorious opportunities to beat the Montreal Canadiens and take over top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Habs won both games, one in a shootout and the other in regulation, but since then, Ottawa has won two straight games against tough opponents and we're right back where we were seven days ago.

Tonight, once again, the winner will sit above the rest in the division.

The bad news? Viktor Stalberg looks to be out with an upper-body injury and is questionable for the looming road trip through Philadelphia, Minnesota, Winnipeg and Detroit, although he will likely fly out with the team in the coming days. Marc Methot is also indefinitely out with his "shattered" finger. There is no update on the severity of Methot's injury.

The good news? The squad gets a huge boost tonight when they welcome back their best forward in Mark Stone. Stone had missed the previous seven games with a lower-body injury, but has been skating with the team the past week and is ready for tonight.

Here's what the lines should look like tonight courtesy of Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch:

Zack Smith - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Alex Burrows - Derick Brassard - Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Tom Pyatt

Ryan Dzingel - Chris Kelly - Tommy Wingels

Freddy Claesson - Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki - Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Statistical Preview:


- Erik Karlsson is currently only four points behind Brent Burns for the defensemen scoring lead with a game in hand.

- Craig Anderson holds the league's second best save percentage amongst No. 1 goalies.

- This is the final matchup of the regular season between the Sens and Habs.

- While Bobby Ryan has three points in his previous 14 games, his 0.42 points per game is the lowest of his career.

- Elsewhere, it looks like the Bruins will be without Tuukka Rask tonight in Brooklyn when they take on the Islanders in a must-win game. If the B's lose tonight and the Leafs win against Buffalo, Boston's only hope to get into the playoffs will seemingly be the final wildcard spot.

Puck drop is 7 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre. You can watch on Sportsnet and listen on TSN 1200.

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