The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens could be without significant firepower Wednesday night when the teams meet in Canada’s capital city.
The Senators posted their second straight victory and improved to 6-2-1 in their past nine games Monday with a 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
The victory came at a cost, however, as forward Tim Stutzle appeared to injure his right arm after going awkwardly into the boards in the first period. Further evaluation is forthcoming, but the way Stutzle skated directly to the bench and walked to the locker room holding his arm was not encouraging.
Montreal also emerged victorious Monday with a 2-1 shootout win over the Calgary Flames, but Cole Caufield left the ice in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Still, Caufield accompanied the team to Ottawa for Wednesday’s game.
“He was moving and he seemed good,” Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki said after the game, per the Montreal Gazette. “I talked to him after the period, and he seemed to be in good spirits. I think they pulled him just to keep him safe.”
Caufield, 21, has a team-leading 16 goals, having scored four in the five games preceding an open-ice hit from Trevor Lewis early in the second period of the Canadiens’ win over the Flames.
For the Senators, Stutzle also has been wielding a hot stick.
“Timmy is a big piece to this team. He’s one of our best players,” Ottawa forward Claude Giroux said of Stutzle, who has paid immediate dividends on the eight-year, $66.8 million contract he signed in the offseason.
Stutzle, 20, has stepped up in place of the injured Josh Norris (upper body) and contributed nearly a point per game this season (10 goals, 17 assists in 28 games).
On Monday, Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat and Cam Talbot were deemed game-time decisions after they failed to participate in the morning skate. Yet DeBrincat scored a pair of power-play goals and Cam Talbot turned aside all 32 shots he faced.
“Who needs morning skates, right?” Talbot said with a laugh. “I mean (DeBrincat) didn’t skate either, and he came out with two goals, so I mean, I think they’re overrated.”
DeBrincat has three goals in his last two contests and is riding a six-game point streak (three goals, four assists).
“Earlier in the year, maybe that second one doesn’t go in,” DeBrincat said. “But, you know, it’s nice that I’m getting the bounces now, and hopefully I can keep that up.”
Drake Batherson, who set up DeBrincat’s goal in the third period, has two goals and five assists during a five-game point streak for the Senators.
For Montreal, Josh Anderson has emerged from a seven-game goal drought by scoring Monday for the third time in last four games.
Jake Allen is in line to make his fourth straight start of the season in goal for the Canadiens. He has fared well in his career against Ottawa, posting a 6-3-2 record with one shutout with a 2.45 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.
Ottawa’s Talbot also has been excellent when these teams meet: He is 6-2-1 against Montreal with three shutouts, a 1.42 GAA and .947 save percentage.
–Field Level Media