The Canadiens (39-23-9) host the Ottawa Senators (39-25-7) tomorrow night at the Bell Centre, with nothing short of the Northeast Division lead on the line.
The Habs lead over Ottawa is a mere 2 points, and with a regulation win for Ottawa tomorrow, they would have the same amount of points as Montreal, yet would have one more win on their record, vaulting them ahead of the Canadiens.
The Habs are 6-4-0 in their last 10, while Ottawa has gone 4-5-1. Montreal scored at least four goals in five of those victories, indicating that the offensive engine is running smoothly.
The season series has seen these two clubs play each other 5 of 8 times, and the results highly favor the Senators. Ottawa won the first three before dropping their first to Montreal this season on February 5th. The two met once again for game 5 on Feb. 9th, where the Sens posted their most dominating win over Montreal thus far this season, winning 6-1.
Spezza, Alfredsson and Heatley have combined for 12 goals and 33 points against Montreal this season.
The Canadiens, though, will get a bit of a break Thursday, as Alfredsson will miss his fifth straight game with back spasms.
Martin Gerber continues to be the go-to guy in Ottawa since Bryan Murray's return to the bench, and he is slated to start vs. Montreal tomorrow as well. He's 7-2-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average against the Canadiens.
His counterpart will be (without much surprise) Carey Price. Price is fresh off a stellar outing vs. the Devils Tuesday night. In a pressure game that had 1st place in the Eastern Conference on the line, Price's star shined brightly as he turned aside all 38 shots thrown his way en route to his second career shutout.
Montreal and Ottawa are the two highest-scoring teams in the NHL with 227 goals apiece, therefore it is more than safe to anticipate a high-scoring affair tomorrow night. I'll be watching from the heavens - that is, the blue section at the Bell Centre.