Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Senators game at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday (7 p.m., City, SNE, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio).
The matchup: This is a game between two teams that are going nowhere. The Canadiens go into the weekend eight points out of a playoff spot and all the teams they are chasing have games in hand. The Canadiens had hoped to be in a better position, while the Senators are in a full-blown rebuild and expected to be where they are — which is 11 points behind Montreal with the third-worst record in the NHL. This is the last game in the season series between these teams. Montreal holds a 2-1 edge, but all three games went to overtime.
Allen McInnis /
Tatar leads the way: Tomas Tatar and Max Domi each put together career-best totals in their first season with the Canadiens last year and there was a lot of discussion about how they would do in their second season. Tatar has done just fine and leads the Canadiens in goals (21) and points (55) and he’s only three points off his career high. Domi led the team last season with a career-high 72 points but he has been limited to 13 goals and 38 points this season. He has struggled recently with only one goal and three assists in his last 12 games.
The goaltenders: This could be Craig Anderson’s last game as a Senator. The 38-year-old Anderson is the perfect target for a team that needs an experienced backup goaltender for a playoff run and his next stop could be Denver, where the Colorado Avalanche need someone to fill in for the injured Philipp Grubauer. Anderson’s numbers aren’t great this season — he has a 3.22 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage — but he has playoff experience and led Ottawa to the Eastern Conference final in 2017. Carey Price will, of course, start for the Canadiens.
Defence to the fore: The Canadiens’ defence corps is coming off a strong effort in the 4-3 overtime win over the Capitals Thursday night in Washington. Montreal was short-handed after Xavier Ouellet suffered a concussion on his first shift. The result was that Shea Weber, Jeff Petry, Ben Chiarot and Brett Kulak each played more than 24 minutes. Chiarot, who was Marc Bergevin’s top off-season acquisition, made a major contribution to the offence. He scored a goal in regulation and then notched the winning goal in overtime. The brace gave Chiarot a career-high nine goals and he has matched his career high in points with 20.
The right choice: Every time the Canadiens play Ottawa, there’s a reminder that Bergevin may have made the wrong decision in the 2018 entry draft when he picked Jesperi Kotkaniemi over Brady Tkachuk. While Kotkaniemi is going through a reset in Laval, Tkachuk has become an impact player in Ottawa, He’s the team’s No. 2 scorer with 18 goals and 20 assists and could move into the top spot because several teams are interested in Jean-Gabriel Pageau (24 goals, 26 assists) and he could be moved at the deadline. Pointe-Claire native Anthony Duclair is Ottawa’s other top goal scorer with 22.