The two division rivals meet for the sixth time, with Montreal trying to even the season series.
The Senators, who lead the Northeast Division with 70 points, are 15-3-2 against their division rivals, including a 6-0 mark against the Toronto Maple Leafs and 3-0 record against the second-place Buffalo Sabres.
The Canadiens were in danger of being lumped into that group after losing the first two games by a combined 12-5 score, but they have bounced back with two wins—one via shootout and one in regulation—against the Senators. Montreal scored three power-play goals in its two victories over Ottawa.
Montreal got its first win on its grueling six-game road trip Wednesday with a 5-3 victory at Philadelphia. Jan Bulis, originally slated to be a healthy scratch after the morning shootaround, had four goals for the Canadiens, who were outscored 16-7 in losses at Calgary, Vancouver and Carolina.
“I had a meeting with (coach) Bob (Gainey) and he told me I wasn’t playing,” Bulis said. “Then I came back in the afternoon and he told me I was going to suit up. Luckily, it went well for me.”
The six opponents on the Canadiens’ road trip have a combined 106-30-13 home record. The trip winds up Saturday at Toronto.
Ottawa is in the third game of a four-game homestand against Northeast Division rivals, and picked up four critical points by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs twice in three days. After a 7-0 rout Saturday, the Senators edged the Leafs 4-3 on Monday.
Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who nearly squandered a three-goal lead in the final nine minutes. Ottawa has gained points from its last five games (4-0-1) overall and is 12-2-1 in its last 15 home games.
It was the third time Alfredsson reached 30 goals in a season, and the Swedish right wing appears on his way to easily bettering his career high of 37, established in the 2001-02 season.
“Maybe it’s not as big a benchmark as it used to be a few years ago but it’s nice and I think there’s more to come,” said Alfredsson, who will represent Sweden in the Turin Olympics.