The almost two full months without back to back wins is a thing of the past. After an ugly 5-0 loss at the hands of the Boston Bruins, the Ottawa Senators appear to have finally turned the corner. With wins over the Bruins, Capital and Jets, the Senators are finally on a winning streak.
They’ll put that three game run on the line tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Things have been going pretty well for the Habs since suffering a somewhat humiliating defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Their 24-14-4 record is good enough for 4th in the Eastern Conference and has them sitting third in the Atlantic Division. Led by likely Olympians in Carey Price and PK Subban, the Canadiens have been one of the more surprising teams in the East so far and seem prime for another playoff disappointment err I mean, appearance.
Meanwhile in Ottawa, things are finally starting to trend the right way. Even before the three straight wins, there were impressive performances against teams like St. Louis and Pittsburgh that clearly showed this team is better than what their streaky start suggests. In a cruel twist, the team they are chasing for the final playoff spot in the East is Daniel Alfredsson and the Detroit Red Wings. The gap sits at three points with the Wings having one game in hand. It’s still a pretty sizeable gap and one the Senators have to continue to close heading into the home stretch.
Jason Spezza has practiced with the teams the past couple days but will miss another game as he rehabs what the team is calling a hip injury. Whether it’s his hip, back, knee or groin, it’s clear there have been things bugging Spezza during the first half of the season. It’s important that he takes the time to get as close to 100% as possible before returning to the line up. With Spezza out for a fourth straight, MacLean will go with the same forward combinations. Looks like they’ll make one change to the blueline, as Eric Gryba draws in for Joe Corvo.
Here’s how the Senators lined up at the morning skate.
Craig Anderson gets the start in the Ottawa goal.