Series (Game 4 of 6)

Ottawa leads 5-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 17th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 8th
Game 3: Monday, December 28th
Game 4: Saturday, January 16th
Game 5: Saturday, January 30th
Game 6: Monday, March 22nd

Senators 4

(24-21-4, 52 pts)

Canadiens 2

(23-22-4, 50 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:00 PM ET, January 16, 2010

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
OTT 1 2 14
MTL 1 1 02

D. Alfredsson (Senators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

C. Phillips (Senators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Brodeur (Senators - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

Senators-Canadiens Preview


Snapping a season-high losing streak behind the superb play of a rookie goaltender may have been just what the Ottawa Senators needed to build some confidence. Getting captain Daniel Alfredsson -- the franchise's top scorer -- back from injury should be even better.

Mike Brodeur will likely be in net again as Alfredsson returns to the Senators' lineup Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens in a matchup of Northeast Division rivals.

Ottawa (23-21-4) was outscored 22-5 during a five-game losing streak, capped by Tuesday's 6-1 loss at Atlanta. That slide was due in part to injuries to its entire top line of Alfredsson (shoulder), center Jason Spezza (knee) and left wing Milan Michalek (upper body). The trio has combined for 30 goals and 42 assists, with Michalek's 16 goals leading the team.

The Senators have also been without defenseman Filip Kuba (upper body) and right wing Jesse Winchester (knee).

Things appeared to be getting worse Thursday when goaltender Pascal Leclaire suffered a concussion when he was struck with a puck during the morning skate. An illness sidelined backup Brian Elliott, forcing Ottawa to recall Brodeur from Binghamton of the AHL.

Hours later, the rookie ended the Senators' slide by making 32 saves to power a 2-0 win at the New York Rangers for his first shutout in only his second start. Brodeur's only other appearance was a 22-save performance in a 4-1 victory over Minnesota on Dec. 19.

"Mike was outstanding. That was the biggest difference," coach Cory Clouston said of Thursday's win.

With Brodeur likely to get a second consecutive start, the Senators figure to get a lift with Alfredsson and Kuba returning.

Having Alfredsson available for the first time since Dec. 23 should help the Senators -- mired in a 2-for-50 slump on the power play over the last 16 games. He has nine goals and a team-high 22 assists, while holding the team records with 364 goals and 952 points.

In 72 games against Montreal (23-21-4), Alfredsson has 28 goals and 94 points -- his highest total against any opponent. He also had one goal and one assist in the last meeting at Bell Centre, a 3-1 win Oct. 17.

Ottawa has taken two of three from the Canadiens this season.

Montreal is 2-0-1 during this four-game homestand after Thursday's 5-3 win over Dallas. Georges Laraque scored his first goal on his first shot in 26 games with the Canadiens hours after his uncle contacted him from Haiti, two days after an earthquake rocked the island nation's capital of Port-au-Prince.

"It's hard to focus and to think about hockey when your whole country, where your parents were born, is destroyed," Laraque said. "Port-au-Prince is where my mother was born and having family down there and not knowing what's going on, it was super hard.

"To get a goal (Thursday) -- which obviously I'm going to dedicate to all Haitians that have lost people and that are still looking for people -- for that to happen (Thursday) to me is almost a miracle. To happen on this day it means so much."

Michael Cammalleri ended a four-game pointless drought with a goal and an assist Thursday. The left wing leads the Canadiens with 21 goals and is second with 39 points, and has a goal in each of the three season meetings with Ottawa.