The Montreal Canadiens recovered from a 5-1 loss to the Senators in Ottawa on Wednesday with a 6-1 victory over Buffalo at home three days later. On Sunday, the Canadiens will host the Senators with momentum on their side and defenceman P.K. Subban on their roster.
Subban had an assist on the power play in the third period on Saturday and led Montreal with three hits in his season debut as the Canadiens set the tone early, outshooting the Sabres 15-1 in the first period. Montreal was 2-for-8 with the man advantage and has 11 goals on 41 opportunities this season. The Canadiens were 1-for-6 in their loss to Ottawa.
The Senators went in the opposite direction after Wednesday’s game, getting shut out for the first time this season in a 1-0 loss to Carolina on Friday.
Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots in his first regulation loss of the season and has been stellar for Ottawa thus far, with a goals-against average of 0.99 and a .968 save percentage through seven starts. With Jason Spezza out indefinitely following back surgery, Kyle Turris has seen his time on ice climb to around 20 minutes per game over the last three games - and he has responded with two assists and four shots.
Turris is tied for the team lead with seven points this season.
TV: 2 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS
ABOUT THE SENATORS (5-2-1): D Erik Karlsson also has seven points, including two assists in the last three games. The reigning Norris Trophy winner leads the team with 31 shots. Rookie Jakob Silfverberg has 18 shots but only one goal thus far. Rookie Mika Zibanejad, who scored his first NHL goal against Montreal on Wednesday, has two points and nine shots in three games. Defenseman Chris Phillips and Andre Benoit have 17 blocked shots apiece, while Chris Neil leads the team with 23 hits. Ottawa’s power play is 7-for-28, and the penalty kill has only allowed four goals in 35 short-handed chances.
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (5-2-0): Carey Price made 30 saves on Saturday and has been in net for all five of Montreal’s wins. Peter Budaj was in net for the Canadiens’ loss to Ottawa on Wednesday. Rookie Alex Galchenyuk has seven points on the season and six assists in his last four games. David Desharnais entered Saturday with two assists and a minus-3 in six games but scored twice against the Sabres. Andrei Markov, who is tied with fellow defenceman Raphael Diaz for the team lead with eight points, was held off the scoresheet for the first time in six games on Saturday.
1. The Senators are 2-3-1 in their last six trips to Montreal and haven’t scored more than three goals in a game at the Bell Centre since Jan. 16, 2010.
2. D Alexei Emelin has 32 hits, more than twice as many as any other Canadiens player.
3. Subban has eight points in 11 career games against the Senators, as well as 28 shots, 16 hits and 14 blocked shots.
PREDICTION: Canadiens 4, Senators 3