Posted March 13, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Ottawa Senators seem to have a good chance of picking up a quick four points with their next two games against the Montreal Canadiens, who are last in the Eastern Conference. The Senators, however, know better than to overlook their Northeast Division rivals. Ottawa, which has lost two of three to the Canadiens this season, tries to avoid a letdown Wednesday night when it visits Montreal in the opener of a home-and-home set. The Senators (36-25-9) are in the mix for first place in the Northeast as well as one of the final East playoff spots. While Ottawa is 9-3-2 since Feb. 9, the Canadiens (27-32-11) have dropped eight of 11 and are relegated to playing spoilers. "They're dangerous," Senators left wing Nick Foligno said of Montreal. "They're playing desperate. Desperate hockey teams are hard to play against. We have to be at our best." Ottawa hasn't played its best in its first three games against the Canadiens. The Senators earned a 3-2 shootout victory in Montreal on Jan. 14 after being outscored 8-3 in losing the first two at home. Ottawa's top three goal scorers - Milan Michalek (32), Jason Spezza (29) and Daniel Alfredsson (22) - have combined for two goals in the three games with Spezza the only one to light the lamp. The Senators, who have won six of the last eight meetings in Montreal, will have a new face in goal for this one. With Craig Anderson (finger) still sidelined, Ben Bishop is expected to make his fourth straight start between the pipes. Acquired from St. Louis before the trade deadline, Bishop had 38 saves in Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to Buffalo after stopping 50 of 54 shots in winning his first two starts. "When Craig went down the uncertainty makes you cautious," coach Paul MacLean said. "As a coach you like knowing, you don't like hoping. Right now we know we're going to get good goaltending and that makes us all feel a little better." Bishop, who had made only eight career starts prior to being acquired by Ottawa, has never faced the Canadiens. While MacLean seems to be comfortable with Bishop in goal, Erik Karlsson has given the offense a boost. Karlsson scored twice Saturday, giving him 10 goals and 11 assists in his last 13 games. The NHL's leading scorer among defensemen has 18 goals but none against Montreal with one assist in the season series. The Canadiens return home from a 2-1-1 trip capped by Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to Buffalo. Montreal seemed like it wasn't going to get a point against the Sabres, but David Desharnais scored on a scramble in front of the net with five seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. "There's no quit in this team," said backup Peter Budaj, who stopped 33 shots. "There's a lot of pride and a lot of commitment to the team, to the logo, to the organization and fans." Carey Price is 2-6-0 with a 3.01 goals-against average since Feb. 19 and is expected to make his fourth start of the season against the Senators. He is 6-1-1 with a 1.62 GAA and a shutout versus Ottawa since the start of last season. Max Pacioretty, Montreal's leader with 30 goals and 57 points, has five goals and six assists during a six-game point streak. His lone goal of the season against the Senators came in the final minute of the most recent meeting to force overtime.

Ottawa Senators face enviable dilemma in goal

Craig Anderson’s injured hand is healing nicely, allowing the veteran goaltender to resume practicing in full gear in Ottawa.Hot prospect Robin Lehner fared well during earlier stints this season. Newcomer Ben Bishop, acquired from the Blues organization before the trade deadline, is 2-0-1 with a 2.27 goals against average and .926 save percentage since being recalled from Binghamton...

Erik Karlsson Appears on Hockey Central

This afternoon on the Fan 590's Hockey Central with Doug MacLean and Darren Millard, Erik Karlsson hit the airwaves to campaign for a Norris Trophy. Below is a transcript of what was said, as always my comments are in bold. To listen to the interview, you can access it by following this link.   Q: Have you heard much on this hybrid icing rule that they’ve been talking...

Travis Yost: Ottawa Dropped in Shootout; Move Within One Point of Boston

The Ottawa Senators may have stolen a road point at the always-raucous Bell Centre on Wednesday night, but Paul MacLean's team - as they were on Saturday night - has to feel a bit disappointed with their second-consecutive shootout loss. Ottawa's 4-3 SOL to Buffalo on Saturday night wasn't anything to sour over, especially with the way the team played in every zone...

Senators Travel In Style

from Matt Mariani of the Ottawa Citizen, Train travel has long been a part of the past for the National Hockey League, although the modern-day Senators, decked out in fedoras, custom plaid suits, silk ties and highly polished black shoes, did their best to evoke the romance of that era Tuesday by taking the train to Montreal for Wednesday night’s game against the Canadiens. ...

Travis Yost: Thirty Thoughts: Trades, Free Agency, and Playoff Banter

January 26th, 2012 - Travis Yost's most recent edition of Thirty Thoughts. So, why the month-and-a-half break? Blame the Ottawa Senators for being such a competitive and - well, intriguing team. Still, there's plenty to talk about the National Hockey League - so much so, this one's probably going to be even more long-winded than usual. Apologies in advance. Let...

Translating Silver Mountain

In light of his recent comments in local Gävle (home of the Brynäs hockey team) paper Arbetarbladet, the following is a topic worthy of discussion. How will Jakob Silfverberg translate? The translating friend that is the Google Machine would probably tell us it's "Yescob Silfvr Mountain", but as experienced last year with top prospect David Roundleaf, translating...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.