(43-30-7, 6th East) (43-30-7, 6th East)

Game Day: MTL @ OTT

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(43-30-7, 6th East)

vs.

(31-39-10, 13th East)

To close the curtain on the home segment of the dismal, disappointing 2010-11 season, the Ottawa Senators host the rival Montreal Canadiens Thursday night.  The Canadiens clinched their spot in the post season on Tuesday, so this will be a game where they just try to get through it without getting anyone hurt before the playoffs.  With Ottawa not going to move up any farther in the standings, they will look to send the vocal Montreal fans who always invade Scotiabank Place home with their tails between their legs, for one last time this season.  Fresh off helping Binghamton clinch a playoff spot last night, a number of players will make their way back to Ottawa, so tired legs might be an issue with as many as 4 players playing their third game in 3 nights.  I can envision Carey Price getting the night off as he ramps up for the playoffs, so I would expect to see Alex Auld facing his former team.  But I could be wrong on that one, its just an estimation.

Montreal has had its way with Ottawa this season, winning 4 of the 5 games to date.  Most recently was a Jan 21st 7-1 drubbing by Montreal  in Ottawa’s own building.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

MONTREAL

PK Subban – The rookie defenseman has energized Montreal’s fan base with his youthful enthusiasm and riverboat gambler type play.  He leads Montreal defensemen in scoring (38 points) and also leads the club in penalty minutes (124).  He has 9 power play goals this season, also leading the club.  However his attitude and perceived cockiness has rubbed some opposing players the wrong way, which has led to some criticism among his NHL peers.

OTTAWA

Andre Benoit – The Senators’ own rookie defenseman will be playing his 7th NHL game tonight, as part of the Bingo 5 who shuttled to help the baby Sens make the playoffs.  The leading scorer among Binghamton defensement, Benoit has made a favorable impression at the NHL level with his steady two way play.  His game vs Toronto on Saturday saw him get a career high 20:56 of ice time, 7 shots on goal and his first NHL point, a power play assist.

LAST 5 GAMES

MTLOTT
RECORD2-2-12-2-1
GOALS FOR1117
GOALS AGAINST1116
PP4/16 (25.0%)4/12 (25.0%)
PK15/16 (93.8%)17/20 (85.0%)

THREE KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY

Lack Of Montreal Focus – The Canadiens might have a mental letdown after finally clinching a playoff spot in their last game.  Jump on them early and they might throw in the towel.

Final Home Game – This is the last chance for some players to make a favorable final impression on the Senators faithful.  Some will be here next year, others won’t, but an effort will be there.

Support for Spezz – Jason Spezza has been a one man wrecking crew the past month and a half, and needs some support from others to help carry the load.

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Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.

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