Canadiens @ Senators: Start time, tape tale and how to watch
Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators
How to watch
Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: CityTV, Sportsnet East/One (English), VAT Sports (French)
Streaming: ESPN+, NHL live, Direct RDS, Now
With 30 games left in the regular season, the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are now meeting for the first time. The season opener of the series will take place at the Canadian Tire Center in Kanata to kick off a five-game Canadian tour for the Canadiens, following a streak of 10 of their last 11 games played at the Bell Centre.
Both teams needed an extended break from each other after playing 10 times as North Division opponents a year ago when the Senators took the 13-point series at 10. There was a lot of physicality with 10 rough minors, six cross checks. , and four fights. The personnel may have changed a lot on the Montreal side since those games, but you can expect the atmosphere to be the same again this year.
Montreal is one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now with its four-game winning streak. The Senators are also getting some decent results lately, winning half of their games since the All-Star break but just not getting enough offense in losses to the Boston Bruins (twice), the Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers. They’ve beaten some really good clubs in the Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild in that stretch when the offense arrived, so they’ll still be a big challenge for the Habs’ new defensive strategies.
Tale of the Band
|45.7% (28th)||Score chance for %||46.6% (24th)|
|2.29 (31st)||Goals per game||2.66 (25th)|
|3.79 (32nd)||Goals conceded per game||3.16 (22nd)|
|12.6% (31st)||PP %||16.6% (22nd)|
|74.4% (30th)||PACKAGE%||80.9% (13th)|
|4-4-2||H2H report (20-21)||6-3-1|
If the Senators are to find the goals they need, they’ll have to get some pucks past the former franchise star who has become affectionately known as “The Hamburglar.” Andrew Hammond made a name for himself with a huge performance for the Senators in 2014-15, posting a 20-1-2 record over the final two months of the season to qualify for the playoffs. Unfortunately for him, that magic ran out when he faced Carey Price, who had played at a similar level for a full year, and Hammond’s postseason only lasted the first two games of the first round.
He is now Price’s teammate, but currently a substitute for Samuel Montembeault. Hammond performed well in his first game with the team, making 30 saves against the New York Islanders to claim the shootout victory in Game 2 of this winning streak, and he’ll want to prove he can help. to bear the burden down. stretch.
It’s once again Brady Tkachuk emerging as the best attacking option Hammond will face, leading the club for a third consecutive season. It looked like he was going to have to hand that title to Drake Batherson this time around, but a sprained ankle has sidelined the winger since January 25, allowing Tkachuk to take a three-point lead. Josh Norris leads the team with 18 goals, but suffered an injury one game after Batherson and hasn’t played since.
With these top players absent, it’s understandable that the team struggles to score. The club – indeed the entire organization – has been hit the hardest by COVID-19 this season due to multiple outbreaks throughout the year. Only three players have dressed for the 50 games played by Ottawa, and despite the various postponements we’ve seen, only 10 have played more than 36.
Tkachuk, Connor Brown and defenseman Thomas Chabot have been the best players since those two key injuries and are the players the Canadiens need to focus on tonight. The one-on-one game with the opposition was a big factor in this turnaround for Montreal and will again be the defensive game plan. The Habs are slowly figuring out how to reduce the time on their side so they can attack more often, and an effort like what we’ve seen for over a week will make it very difficult for the exhausted Senators to keep going.