The Ottawa Senators finally get back into action on Saturday night as they begin a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights that will determine their playoff fate probably once and for all.
TV: CBC; RADIO: TSN1200
This is the 4th meeting of the season between the clubs. After Ottawa won the first meeting 4-1, the next two games went into overtime. Ottawa took the second meeting 4-3 on Clarke MacArthur‘s game winner, while P.K. Subban had the deciding goal in Montreal’s 5-4 OT win in a wild one in Ottawa.
Ottawa fell in overtime 4-3 to the Nashville Predators on Monday night, after erasing a 3-0 deficit in the third period to salvage a point. The Habs have lost 3 straight, the last one coming at the hands of the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-1.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Robin Lehner, OTT – With Craig Anderson on the shelf for an indeterminate amount of time, the Senators need Lehner to step up like no other time this season if the Senators are going to claw their way back into the playoff race. He was in the net for the 4-1 win earlier this season against Montreal.
P.K. Subban, MTL – It has been an eventful season against the Senators for the enigmatic defenseman. His questionble penalty late in the game resulted in Ottawa’s OT winner, and then he raised the ire of some Ottawa fans and also goaltender Anderson with his over-exuberant celebration following his OT goal in the last meeting.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Put up or shut up – Ottawa can’t ease back into action and they have to be desperate from here on out to make up the ground between them and the playoffs.
2. Slumping Habs – Montreal has lost 4 of their last 5 games and are eagerly anticipating the return of goaltender Carey Price from his post-Olympic injury.
3. Focus – While the Senators might want to confront Subban for his actions in OT on January 16th, they must pay attention to the task at hand and not try to get a pound of flesh at this point in time. They must stick to hockey.