Final OT

Series (Game 5 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

Canadiens 2

(25-25-6, 56 pts)

Senators 3

(31-21-4, 66 pts)

Coverage: NHL

2:00 PM ET, January 30, 2010

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
MTL 0 1 1 02
OTT 1 1 0 13

M. Fisher (Senators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

A. Kovalev (Senators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

T. Plekanec (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Canadiens-Senators Preview


The Ottawa Senators knew they needed a spark after a five-game losing streak earlier this month. They certainly didn't imagine ending January on the longest winning streak in franchise history.

That's what the Senators can accomplish Saturday afternoon as they look for their ninth consecutive victory and a sixth in seventh games against the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Ottawa (30-21-4) scored five goals during a five-game slide from Jan. 5-12 that left it tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with Montreal and the New York Rangers..

While the Canadiens (25-25-5) have gone 3-4-1 and joined a cluster of seven other teams battling for the East's final three playoff spots, the Senators have moved into fifth place.

Ottawa has outscored opponents 27-8 during an eight-game winning streak that matches its run from Oct. 13-Nov. 6, 2007, as the best in franchise history. Those opponents haven't been slouches, either. Two days after a 3-1 win over Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey, the Senators won 4-1 at defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"We're rolling right now," said Jason Spezza, who scored for a third straight game since coming back from a right knee injury and fifth consecutive overall. "We're beating good teams and gaining confidence from it. It's a broken record, but winning breeds confidence, and we're a confident bunch right now."

Daniel Alfredsson returned from a separated shoulder in the second game of the streak, and he has five goals and six assists since. Alfredsson has three goals and five assists in his last five games against Montreal.

Ottawa's real revelation, though, has been Brian Elliott. The third-year goaltender has started the last six games, allowing six goals.

"He's doing a great job of not only saving the pucks right now but smothering them in front of the net," defenseman Chris Phillips said. "He's not giving up rebounds. You can see when he's doing that, he's on his game."

Elliott hasn't been in goal for any of the Senators' three wins against Montreal this season. He did start Dec. 8 at Scotiabank Place in a 4-1 loss in which the Canadiens' Jaroslav Halak made 45 saves.

That's Ottawa's only loss in its past six games in the series.

Montreal has dropped five of seven overall and scored once during a two-game trip to Florida, losing 2-1 to the Panthers on Tuesday and 3-0 to Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

"No one's going to feel sorry for us," center Scott Gomez said. "We've got to regroup. We've got to come up with a new game plan and go at it again."

Carey Price was in net against the Lightning, falling to 2-7-2 with a 2.82 goals-against average in his last 11 starts. Halak is 8-3-1 with a 1.99 GAA in his past 12, though it's uncertain who will start Saturday.

Whoever starts won't have defensemen Paul Mara (upper-body injury) or Jaroslav Spacek (flu) in front of him.

To further complicate the goaltending situation, reports of defenseman Andre Markov questioning Price's desire surfaced Wednesday, though the two exchanged a playful hug Thursday after practice.

"Sometimes it helps, maybe," Markov said. "We have to stay together and regroup and show to everybody we can play a better game."