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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 4th (All times Eastern)

Ottawa Senators (18-18-7) at Montreal Canadiens (24-14-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Ottawa Senators will shoot for their first four-game winning streak of the season when they visit the rival Montreal Canadiens for Saturday's Atlantic Division clash at the Bell Centre.

A playoff team in each of the past two seasons, the Senators have struggled with consistency so far in 2013-14 and currently are sitting sixth in the Atlantic Division with 43 points. However, wins in three straight and four of the last five games gives hope that Ottawa is starting to find its groove.

The Senators won all three games on their recent homestand and claimed those victories by a total margin of four goals. Ottawa hopes to stay hot on Saturday when it kicks off a four-game road trip in Montreal, but the Sens are just 7-8-3 as the guest this season and have dropped four straight away from Canada's capital city.

Ottawa recorded a 4-3 regulation win over Winnipeg in the finale of its homestand on Thursday. Mika Zibanejad posted a goal and an assist to help the Senators notch the close victory at Canadian Tire Centre.

Milan Michalek, Zack Smith and Clarke MacArthur also had goals for the Senators, while Craig Anderson stopped 32 shots in the win.

"I thought it was a competitive game up and down the rink and that's the way I thought it would be," said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean. "We found a way to win the game and that's what is most important."

The Sens have won their last three games without captain Jason Spezza in the lineup and the veteran forward expects to miss a fourth straight tilt on Saturday.

Ottawa hasn't won four in a row since April 11-18 of last season and a victory could be difficult to come by on Saturday, as the Sens have lost four straight and five of their last six tilts in Montreal.

The Sens have won two of the past three encounters with the Canadiens overall and Ottawa recorded a 4-1 home victory when the clubs met for the first of five matchups this season on Nov. 7.

Montreal won Thursday night in Dallas, halting a two-game slide to complete a six-game road trip with a 3-2-1 mark.

Lars Eller scored the winner in the third period to help the Canadiens take down the Stars, 6-4. Max Pacioretty had two goals and two assists, while P.K. Subban added a goal and three assists for the Habs. Carey Price gave up four goals on 32 shots.

"That's what we need. We've been struggling scoring goals," said Pacioretty. "We've been struggling trying to put 60 minutes together. We came out slow but we found a way to bounce back after a bad start. Carey (Price) bailed us out early in the game and I think we took it from there."

The Canadiens are now home for two straight and they will host Florida on Monday. Montreal has identical 12-7-2 records at both home and on the road this season.

01/04 10:32:48 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
3:30pm Today
TOR
NYK
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
2nd
BGU 42
FERST 54
 
2nd
ARMY 37
MAINE 34
 
2nd
QUIN 51
ORST 44
 
2nd
CLST 43
USF 48
 
Half
CARK 27
CCAR 26
 
1st
UWGB 23
ARKLR 18
 
1st
RAD 17
CORN 18
 
1st
UNT 17
CREI 8
 
1st
CAN 14
HC 9
 
1st
USB 9
GHND 10
 
1st
OKST 9
MD 13
 
1st
WINT 10
REIN 10
 
1st
UGST 22
SMISS 15
 
1st
NEOM 16
TXPA 19
 
1st
STLU 12
VERM 8
 
1st
UNCA 16
WCU 11
 
1st
EVAN 15
ALAST 10
 
2:30pm Today
HART
FIU
 
2:35pm Today
VALPO
GOSHEN
 
3:00pm Today
LIP
PEAY
 
3:00pm Today
DEN
BRY
 
3:00pm Today
MONT
SD
 
3:00pm Today
MTST
TENST
3:00pm Today
SAMF
LAMON
 
3:30pm Today
SCAR
COKR
 
4:00pm Today
HAMP
NARZ
 
4:00pm Today
SDU
SDCHR
 
4:00pm Today
BC
USC
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
2nd
NOS 7
ATL 13
 
2nd
HOU 9
BAL 0
 
2nd
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
2nd
CHI 7
DET 7
 
2nd
TAM 0
GBP 10
 
Half
PIT 10
KAN 6
 
2nd
MIA 7
MIN 14
 
Half
NYJ 10
NEP 7
 
4:05pm Today
STL
NYG
4:25pm Today
OAK
BUF
4:25pm Today
DAL
IND
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA