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Game #6 | Montreal Vs Ottawa | 30 January 2013 7:00pm EST


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A healthy Andrei Markov is one of the big reasons the Montreal Canadians are on the verge of their longest winning streak in two years.

The Ottawa Senators are looking to continue their own momentum and it may be without Jason Spezza again.

Markov attempts to stay hot as the Canadiens go for a five-game winning streak by continuing their success against the Senators in this Northeast Division matchup Wednesday night.

Injuries limited Markov to 65 games over the last three seasons, including 13 in 2011-12. Most of his problems stem from a problematic right knee that underwent two ACL surgeries.

So far, he's putting all of that behind him.

The defenseman has accumulated all of his seven points during Montreal's four-game winning streak, and all of that production has come on the power play.

Markov set up two goals on the man-advantage to spur Tuesday's 4-3 win over Winnipeg, assisting on the eventual winner by Tomas Plekanec early in the third period.

"I remember back when we played with Kovy (Alex Kovalev) and Marky (Markov) and I think we were first in the league two years in a row," Plekanec said of the power-play unit. "I feel it's pretty much the same now.

"He has a huge impact on our team, not only on the power play."

Montreal (4-1-0) has one of the most effective power plays in the NHL, converting 8 of 27 chances.

If that continues, the Canadiens (4-1-0) could find themselves as winners of five straight for the first time since Feb. 26-March 8, 2011. They're 8-1-3 against the Senators (4-1-1) over the last two seasons, going 4-0-2 in Ottawa.

Markov has nine points in his past 12 visits to Scotiabank Place, but hasn't appeared there since an overtime loss Jan. 30, 2010.

Plekanec, who has three goals in four games, has 18 points in the last 17 meetings with the Senators, getting 12 in nine on the road.

Raphael Diaz is also providing some scoring punch, ranking among the league leaders with seven assists after getting 13 in 59 games as a rookie last season. He had two Tuesday, including one on Plekanec's tally.

Diaz's career-high three assists powered a 6-2 victory in his last game at Ottawa on Dec. 27, 2011.

The Senators would like to build on the momentum generated from scoring three goals in a row to rally for a 3-2 win over Washington on Tuesday. Sergei Gonchar helped them avoid a three-game slide by capping the comeback with 2:30 left in regulation, netting his first goal of the season.

Getting Spezza back may provide a spark for Ottawa, but it is uncertain if he'll play. The star center was out Tuesday with an upper-body injury after getting one point in each of the first five games. He led the team with 84 points last season, and his 34 goals matched a career high.

Spezza's 28 goals in 50 games against the Canadians are a career high against any opponent, while his 59 points rank second to his 62 versus Buffalo.

He has 16 goals and 16 assists in 23 career home matchups with Montreal.

Milan Michalek has started the season with a career-high six-game scoring streak, during which he's managed two goals and four assists. That run may be in jeopardy since he has just two assists in nine home meetings with Montreal in three seasons with the Senators.

P.K. Subban will join the Canadiens in Ottawa after signing a two-year, $5.75 million contract on Monday, but it is unclear if the 23-year-old defenseman will play.

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I did it right...right? :P I'm kidding but it feels like forever since I last did one. Up early cause 7:30 shift comes early lol I wasn't able to find the other write up at this time that the have on the Habs website. Hope this suffices. Enjoy the game everyone! :)

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Habs of a nice winning streak going, but Ottawa's no slouch. Both teams are coming off a game last night, so neither should be more rested than the other. Hopefully the Habs can extend the streak tonight.

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Toughest game thus far in this young season especially with Budaj making his first start. The team has been playing great, no reason to believe they won't show up for this. Should be a good one. Is Josh Gorges great or what? Saves Price's bacon last night with his smooth sweep of the puck as it was entering the net. Our unsung hero to say the least.

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I vote that they start PK, but I'll trust that the coach knows best. Even if they put him on the third pairing and use him on the second PP unit until he gets a bit more time with the team, I still think it's better to have him (and his fresh legs) during the second game of a double-header.

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I did it right...right? :P I'm kidding but it feels like forever since I last did one. Up early cause 7:30 shift comes early lol I wasn't able to find the other write up at this time that the have on the Habs website. Hope this suffices. Enjoy the game everyone! :)

You betcha, you did it right. Super job, beaubie. Thanks :)

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Yes and I hope he will stay the entire game B)

For sure. We need our backup to play full games and not get pulled. If the coach can't depend on him to give his starter a rest, then we'll have one burnt out Price when we really need him.

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FWIW regarding Spezza playing tonite.

From the Ottawa Sun:

"The Senators had to soldier on without Jason Spezza Tuesday night.

A couple of fans said on Twitter that Spezza was spotted at the MacDonald-Cartier Airport heading to Toronto around 6:30 p.m. It should be noted Spezza has had issues with his back in the past.

"At this point, I don't know," said MacLean. "We expect that he would play (Wednesday against the visiting Montreal Canadiens), but we'll have to see how the evaluation goes."

From TSN at 11:40 this morning:

"Craig Anderson, who gets the start tonight, made 31 saves for Ottawa, which was without Jason Spezza due to an upper body injury that is still being evaluated and will not play tonight."

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Send lineup for tonight per Dan Kramer:

Milan Michalek - Peter Regin - Jakob Silfverberg

Guillaume Latendresse - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson

Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Erik Condra - Mika Zibanejad – Jim O’Brien

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Sergei Gonchar – Mark Borowiecki

Patrick Wiercioch - Chris Phillips

Anderson get the start

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The main thing is for the team to not panic or fall asleep, whether ahead or behind. If they just play their game, they'll be fine. It's when it all falls apart for one reason or another, that leads are lost and everyone in Hab land is biting their fingernails and throwing things at their TVs. :wacko:

It's like a wise man once said: "Half of this game is mental, the other half is being mental."

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