Montreal (26-17-4) at Ottawa (17-24-7)

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  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Fri Jan 21, 2011
  • TV: RDS, RSNE
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The Montreal Canadiens are dealing with a slew of injuries, but might be getting some timely relief with a visit to the last-place Ottawa Senators.

The Canadiens look to withstand the possible absence of up to four forwards as they try to beat the spiraling Senators for the fourth time in five meetings Friday night.

Montreal (26-17-4) was already dealing with several injuries before early first-period exits from Michael Cammalleri(notes) and Max Pacioretty(notes) in Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime loss at Buffalo.

Cammalleri left with a separated shoulder after being shoved into the boards from behind, while Pacioretty was hit in the right arm by a slap shot and was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons.

Pacioretty could be back Friday, but Cammalleri’s status appears to be clouded. He missed two games last week with a virus and had a goal and two assists in his first two games before getting hurt Tuesday.

“It’s unfortunate. I was excited to get back from being sick. We still have some tests to do to try determine exactly what’s going on, so I don’t really know what it’s going to look like as far as timelines go,” Cammalleri told the team’s official website. “You just have to try and stay optimistic and keep going.”

The Canadiens could also be without center Jeff Halpern(notes) (upper body) and left wing Benoit Pouliot(notes) (flu), while they’re already missing defensemen Andrei Markov(notes) (knee) and Josh Gorges(notes) for the rest of the season.

Montreal has recalled centers Andreas Engqvist(notes) and Ryan White(notes) from Hamilton of the AHL. Engqvist is poised for his NHL debut, while White had two assists in 16 games with Montreal last season.

“Engqvist is a great forward, he’s a big guy with a lot of talent and he plays great on the PK,” rookie center David Desharnais(notes) said. “White is one of the guys with the most character that I’ve seen in my time playing hockey. He’s a warrior who’s never scared, never backs down from anything. He’s a great guy and a great teammate and I’m glad that he’s going to be here.”

Desharnais has two goals and one assist in eight games since being called up from Hamilton last month.

Tomas Plekanec(notes) leads Montreal with 36 points, but most of that production has come at home. He has just two of his 14 goals and 10 of his 22 assists in 21 road games. Plekanec has four points in four season meetings with Ottawa (17-24-7), helping Montreal win three.

Cammalleri and Halpern had goals in a 4-1 win in the latest matchup Dec. 7.

The Senators are at the bottom of the Northeast Division due to a 1-7-3 stretch that has seen them outscored 42-19.

They lost 6-2 to Philadelphia on Thursday in a game marred by 126 penalty minutes, 10 fighting majors and four game misconducts.

“At least we’re not rolling over and playing dead. We have a lot of fight in us,” said left wing Nick Foligno(notes), who had a goal and was involved in his first fight of the season Thursday. “It’s just frustrating we’re not getting the wins.”

Brian Elliott(notes) is 0-7-3 with a 3.70 goals-against average since getting his last win against Pittsburgh on Dec. 26. He’s been pulled three times in that span, and has lost two of three starts against the Canadiens this season.

Backup Mike Brodeur(notes) hasn’t started since making 30 saves in a 4-2 win at Montreal on Jan. 16, 2010.

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Friday, Jan 21