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THE RIVALRY CONTINUES.

TONITE THE SENS ARE IN TOWN.

 

$_35.JPG

 

Price on a roll: The Canadiens’ Carey Price skipped practice Friday in Brossard, taking a therapy day, but you can expect to see him in goal against the Senators. Price has a personal four-game winning streak and has won in five of his last six starts, improving his season record to 12-8-4 with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.

Fourth line producing: The Canadiens’ fourth line has been producing for them recently with Matthew Peca scoring a goal in Thursday’s 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, while Kenny Agostino picked up two assists and Michael Chaput had one. Agostino and Chaput have four assists each in the last four games and Agostino now has 1-8-9 totals in 17 games since getting called up from the AHL’s Laval Rocket. Chaput, also called up from the Rocket, has become the Canadiens’ best faceoff man, winning 57 per cent of his draws. The Canadiens as a team rank 30th in the NHL in faceoffs at 46.9 per cent.

Pitiful power play: The Canadiens continue to struggle on the power play. After going 0-for-6 against the Hurricanes, the Canadiens ranked 30th in the NHL on the power play at 12.7 per cent. The Canadiens are 0-for-18 on the power play in their last six games.

Getting goals: While the power play has been brutal, the Canadiens have been able to score 5-on-5 and ranked 14th in the NHL in offence after Thursday’s win, scoring an average of 3.16 goals per game. The Canadiens have already scored five or more goals nine times this season after doing it 11 times all of last season. The Canadiens have only been shut out once this season after getting blanked 12 times last season.

Back-to-back for Senators: While the Canadiens were resting at home Friday night, the Senators were beating the Red Wings 4-2 in Detroit before flying to Montreal after the game. The Senators have five players on the injured-reserve list: defencemen Mark Borowiecki and Dylan DeMelo, along with forwards Matt Duchene, Marian Gaborik and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Defenceman Christian Jaros is also been sidelined with a lower-body injury.

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SPECIAL TEAMS

OTT: PP 21.8% (13th); PK 72.8% (30th)

MTL: PP 12.7% (30th); PK 76.2% (26th)

THE BIG MATCHUP

Zack Smith vs. Max Domi: There has been no shortage of bad blood built up between these two in the last couple of games. Trying to get under Smith’s skin in a 5-2 victory Dec. 4 in Montreal, Domi was caught mouthing “waivers” at the Ottawa forward from the bench. Smith got payback in the next game in Ottawa Dec. 6 with a stick to Domi’s groin area off a faceoff. Then, the duo were at each other the rest of the game.

This will be Price’s 41st career appearance against the Senators. He has a 24-9-5 lifetime record vs. Ottawa with a .921 save percentage and a 2.32 goals-against average. 

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Canadiens lines

Forwards

Jonathan Drouin–Max Domi-Andrew Shaw

Tomas Tatar-Phillip Danault-Brendan Gallagher

Paul Byron-Jesperi Kotkaniemi-Artturi Lehkonen

Kenny Agostino-Michael Chaput-Matthew Peca

Defence

Brett Kulak-Shea Weber

Mike Reilly-Jeff Petry

Jordie Benn-Noah Juulsen

Goaltenders

Carey Price

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They say good teams will have a combined special teams success rate (PK + PP percentages) over 100%. Right now, we're at 89.9%. That's pathetic. Biggest disappointment for the season thus far is how a team that can score well at 5v5 can't do it with a man up. I'm guessing it's because a lot of our goals come off the rush at 5v5 and we're just not good at controlling the zone and setting up goals that way.

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