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Game #27 | Senators @ Canadiens | March 13th, 2013 | 7pm EST


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Game #27
Senators @ Canadiens
Mar 13th, 2013 @ 7pm EST



The Montreal Canadiens hope to continue the success achieved on their season-high road trip with a brief appearance at home.

Seeking a fourth straight victory before heading back out on the road, the Canadiens look to extend their recent home dominance over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Playing five games in eight days, Montreal (17-5-4) totaled 20 goals and went 4-1-0 on its trip that included victories over Boston and Carolina.

"This team has obviously developed some very good character," coach Michel Therrien told the Canadiens' official website. "We're a group that plays with a lot of responsibility and I really like what I'm seeing from our guys."

Michael Ryder scored two power-play goals and had an assist while P.K. Subban added three assists in a 5-2 win over Florida on Sunday.

"Hopefully we can keep this going when we get back," Ryder said. "This trip was good for the team and I think we did a lot of good things. Now that we're heading home it's important to make sure we keep playing the same way."

After Wednesday, Montreal heads to New Jersey to begin a stretch of four of six on the road. Though the Canadiens have dropped two of three at the Bell Centre, they've earned at least a point in five straight there.

While Montreal has lost two of three to Ottawa (13-8-5) this season, the Canadiens won 2-1 on Feb. 3 to run their home winning streak in the series to three. They've gone 4-0-1 in their last five on home ice versus the Senators heading into the final meeting of 2013.

This will be the first time Montreal faces Ottawa with Ryder, who has two goals and seven assists in seven games since being acquired from Dallas last month. Five of his points came on a Montreal power play that went 6 for 25 (24.0 percent) on the trip.

"They brought me in to help offensively and on the power play," Ryder said. "That's what I want to try to do and try to help the team. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable on the ice now.''

Ryder, however, has been held without a point in 11 straight games against the Senators.

Subban, who has three goals and nine assists in 10 games, has one goal with five assists in his last seven versus Ottawa.

Montreal's Carey Price has a 1.36 goals-against average while winning four of five at home against the Senators.

Ottawa blew a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 shootout loss at Boston on Monday. Though the Senators have dropped five of six, they're 4-2-3 during a stretch of nine straight games decided by one goal.

"We did a lot of things right playing against (Boston) for as long as we did and we had an opportunity to win," coach Paul MacLean said. "I thought our team competed from start to finish and were very deserving of a point if not more."

Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop continue to see time in place of top goaltender Craig Anderson, who is expected to miss his ninth straight game with a sprained ankle. Bishop has allowed seven goals while losing two starts since recording a career-high 44 saves in a 2-1 shootout victory over Montreal on Feb. 25.

There have been some improvements in regards to Rene Bourque and Raphael Diaz, who are both out with concussions. Bourque began skating last week and Diaz has started working out in the gym. There is still no timeline for their return, as both players are following the team's protocol for concussions.

Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk were officially welcomed to the NHL after taking part in the age-old tradition of the team's rookie party Sunday night in Florida. The purpose of the party is for the team to order as much as they can and have the rookies pick up the bill. These parties have been known to cost players a pretty penny. Galchenyuk and Gallagher would not reveal how much the night cost. Pateryn and Gabriel Dumont weren't forced to take out their wallets at the end of the night, as they had been recently called up and aren't permanently on the team. Gallagher remembers his rookie party in junior when he was forced to buy the whole team popcorn at the movies, which also added up to a lot of money.

(WCH's Record:3-0-1)

(Go Habs Go!)

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Important game. So far this month Ottawa have suffered losses to Philadelphia, Toronto, New York, and Boston. With all the injuries they have we need to continue punishing them, as they won't be so easy to defeat if they get some bodies back later in the season. Separating ourselves from the rest of the division should be highly important.

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I want this win so bad. It's not only necessary to put some distance between us and the rest of the Conference but we need to keep pace with Boston and Pittsburgh. We've still got the top spot on Pittsburgh but only by virtue of the game in hand. A loss tonight might drop us out of first though I'm not sure offhand who has the next tiebreakers.

Boston's only a point back and they'll have 3 games in hand again so it's vital to get 2 points and keep them at bay.

No reason to let this one get away unless we come out flat and don't give the Senators enough credit. No playing down!

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Reading over the other comments... It's still hard to believe that last year at this time, instead of talking about staying atop of the east, we were talking about tanking.

Now we're seriously talking about us keeping over #1 spot in the east.

But i refuse to get too excited, remember last years leafs?

Just before the mid-way point, people were saying the leafs were for real and to look out for them.

So as happy as i am with how the habs are doing, something in the back of my head reminds me that things can change quickly.

If it wasn't for the hawks, MT would be top candidate for the Jack Adams.

We've done well on the road, but have struggled at home.

Try not to be too fancy, stick with your road game and the rest will follow.

It's Lehner, not Bishop.

i heard that as well on my way to work (TSN 690).

great, another rookie tender who has never faced us... :unsure:

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