MONTREAL (TICKER) —The Ottawa Senators try to eliminate the Montreal Canadiens from playoff contention when they visit the Bell Centre on Saturday night.
Montreal needs a win to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race and is 1-4-0-1 since a three-game winning streak. The Canadiens’ lone win in that span is against last-place Carolina and they are winless in their last nine games against playoff contenders since a 3-2 victory here over the Edmonton Oilers on February 15.
In Friday’s 4-1 loss at Buffalo, Montreal coach Claude Julien elected to start rookie goaltender Mathieu Garon and sit Last year’s Vezina Trophy winner Jose Theodore.
Ottawa is two points ahead of the Dallas Stars in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. The Senators also hold a four-point edge over New Jersey for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Ottawa is seeking a club-record 49th win and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Washington Capitals at the Corel Centre on Friday. Martin Havlat scored both goals with Vaclav Varada setting up each.
Senators right wing Marian Hossa was held without point for a second straight game and needs one more goal to tie Alexei Yashin’s club record of 44, set in 1998-99.
The season series is tied at two games apiece and Ottawa is 9-16-4 all time in Montreal.