The banged up Ottawa Senators and the first placed Montreal Canadiens are among the NHL’s top defensive teams. The Sens are just allowing 1.8 goals per game but without Anderson in net that number will change.
Good news though for the Senators, Ben Bishop put his big boy pants on and kept the Senators rolling by earning a shootout victory over the Maple Leafs, Bishop stopped 26 shots in a 3-2 win.
Inside the Scotiabank Place this season, Bishop is 2-1 with 2.11 GAA and .936 SV% and in his career against Montreal he is 1-0-1 with a 2.11 GAA and .898 save percentage.
Along with Anderson’s injury, Ottawa is playing without reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, who is set to miss the season while recovering from a lacerated Achilles tendon. Jason Spezza (back), Milan Michalek (knee), Peter Regin (chest), Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash) and Jared Cowen (hip) are also among the team’s ailing players.
The Canadiens who are allowing just 2.1 goals per game, have excelled defensively during much of their 6-0-1 stretch. Montreal has allowed just one goal or fewer (none) in five of those games, and they’re coming off a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers.
On February 3rd, it was the Anderson and Price show, where they both saw 33 shots a piece. Ottawa eventually lost 2-1 and Price got the win over Anderson. This game, Price has no competition at the other end.
Carey Price is 7-0-2 with a 1.41 GAA in his last nine matchups.
The teams have split their last six matchups but the Senators have outscored the Canadiens 7-2 in winning the past two at Scotiabank Place.
Bishop is expected to start tonight and he might want to keep an eye out for Cole. The winger has eight goals and five assists in his last 12 games against Ottawa.
The Senators are seeking their first five-game home win streak since a run of seven from Jan. 19-Feb. 11, 2010, and the Canadiens are trying to earn a fourth straight road win for the first time since March 5, 2011.
Montreal Canadiens – Carey Price
Ottawa Senators – Ben Bishop
Although Anderson is injured you have to expect the Senators to rally around Bishop and tighten up on defense, especially at home. Obviously the Habs have the advantage in this match-up but they are due for a let down game. Expect the Senators to capitalize on mistakes, the few that the Habs cause.
GAME TOTAL: UNDER 5 ($100)
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