The Ottawa Senators have another opportunity to continue their recent success in advance of the All-Star break, while adding to the current frustration of the Montreal Canadiens.
While the visiting Senators aim for a fourth straight victory, the Canadiens will try to avoid losing their fourth in a row on Tuesday night.
Ottawa has outscored its opponents 13-3 during a three-game winning streak that has followed a 2-6-0 rut. After winning 6-2 at surging Toronto on Friday, the Senators kept the offense coming in Saturday’s 5-0 home rout of the Canadiens in the first game of the current two-game set.
Ottawa’s Claude Giroux had two goals with an assist and Anton Forsberg made 28 saves for his second shutout of the month, as the Senators ran their winning streak over Montreal to four games.
“We’re playing fast, we’re supporting each other and we’re kind of building our game,” said Giroux, who has four goals and four assists in the last four games.
“Guys are playing with confidence. We’re finding ways to win.”
According to NHL.com, Giroux’s 15 multi-point games in 2022-23 are the most by a player in his first season as a Senator since Clarke MacArthur recorded the same amount in 2013-14.
Forsberg has stopped 80 of 83 shots while starting each game during Ottawa’s current winning streak. With the All-Star break beginning this week, Forsberg could again be in goal as the Senators try to win a season-high four in a row for the third time.
Montreal, which dropped a season-high seven straight from Dec. 21-Jan. 5, has totaled five goals during its 0-2-1 slide. The club is trying to generate some consistent offense while dealing with various injuries to nine forwards.
Notably, young star Cole Caufield (team-leading 26 goals) opted to be shut down to undergo shoulder surgery with his team essentially out of playoff contention. The Canadiens will enter Tuesday’s game with just 44 points.
The Canadiens, who have been shut out four times this season, managed just four shots in the third period against the Senators.
“I liked all of our game (Saturday), for the most part, except maybe for the third, we had some challenges getting to the net,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “The intentions were right, but I would have liked to have seen us have more shots in the third.”
The Canadiens excited their fans Saturday with the debut of touted prospect Owen Beck, who logged 10 minutes of ice time against the Senators. However, Beck, who turns 19 this week, was sent back to the Ontario Hockey League following the contest.
Montreal star Nick Suzuki has a team-leading 38 points, but only one over a six-game stretch — and none in the last three. He has just one point during the Canadiens’ four-game skid versus Ottawa.
Sam Montembeault stopped 31 of 35 shots for Montreal on Saturday and has a 3.88 goals-against average during his current 1-3-0 starting stretch. Teammate Jake Allen has a 4.10 goals-against average while going 1-6-2 in his last nine starts.
With a goal Saturday, Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat has four points in two games against the Canadiens this season. He has recorded 11 points in nine career contests versus Montreal.
–Field Level Media