Sens look to bounce back from poor road trip against Canadiens

The Sports Network

12/8/2009 12:44:40 PM

Sports Network) - Fresh off a less-than-stellar road trip, the Ottawa Senators return to Scotiabank Place tonight and will try to notch their fourth straight win over the Northeast Division-rival Montreal Canadiens, who seek a third straight win overall.

Ottawa has been much better at home this year, going 10-3-3 as the host compared to just a 4-7-1 mark on the road. The Senators, who have won five straight at home, went 0-3-1 in the first four contests of their recent five- game swing before salvaging the finale with a 4-3 shootout win in Anaheim on Sunday.

Daniel Alfredsson and former Canadien Alex Kovalev both scored in the shootout for the Senators, who blew three one-goal leads in quick fashion in Sunday's game.

"I thought our guys showed a lot of resilience. All three times we scored, [the Ducks] scored [on] the next shift," Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston said. "Sometimes that can be very deflating, but I liked our character."

Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who also halted a seven-game road losing streak. Jarkko Ruutu and Filip Kuba each scored for Ottawa, which got 33 saves from Brian Elliott.

Elliott was making his eighth straight start since Pascal Leclaire suffered a fractured cheekbone. He is 3-4-1 with a 3.08 goals-against average in that span, and is 1-0-1 with a 4.45 GAA lifetime versus the Canadiens.

Kovalev, who spent the previous four-plus seasons with Montreal, has an assist in three straight games. He haunted his former club in a 3-1 victory on October 17th with a goal and an assist in the Senators' third victory in a row over the Canadiens after dropping six straight to them.

Alfredsson also had a goal and a helper in that triumph. Ottawa has lost three of its last four at home to Montreal.

Mike Cammalleri had the Canadiens' lone goal versus the Senators and has posted four goals in his last two games. He notched a hat trick in Montreal's 5-1 victory over Boston on Friday before recording another tally in last night's 3-1 triumph over Philadelphia.

Andrei Kostitsyn and Marc-Andre Bergeron also lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who posted their second straight win after losing four in a row. Carey Price made just 14 saves in the victory.

Montreal was outshot 15-13 in the contest and had just one shot on goal in the first period.

"You get nervous when it happens," Price said of the low shot total. "That's definitely different, but it was nice to sit back and watch us play. After the last two games, I think we've played our best defensive hockey all year, and we got two wins from that. Hopefully we can add to it and keep up our offense from now on."

Price allowed three goals on 21 shots versus the Senators in October and is 4-3-0 with a 2.87 GAA versus them. Should the Habs elect not to start him on consecutive nights, Jaroslav Halak will aim to improve on his 2-3-0 mark and 3.23 GAA versus Ottawa.

Montreal is aiming for its first three-game win streak since notching a season-best four consecutive victories on October 20-26. but might have to do so without Paul Mara, who left Monday night's game with an upper-body injury in the second period.