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Canadiens Pre Game

Canadiens Game 47: Arber Xhekaj Is Back, Lineup Changes

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Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators

The Montreal Canadiens (19-20-7) are set to host the Ottawa Senators (17-24-1) at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

The two teams met in Ottawa on Thursday, resulting in an embarrassing loss for Martin St-Louis’ team. The 6-2 final score was far from the worst part of the evening. Fans expect a rebuilding team like the Canadiens to lose, even to struggling teams like the Senators, but they also expect to see a legitimate effort put forth. With pride on the line, expect the Canadiens to offer a much better effort this time around.

Jonathan Kovaecevic will re-enter the lineup against the Senators, and consequently, Jordan Harris will watch from the press box. Tanner Pearson will play his first game since early December and Josh Anderson is set to play his 500th career NHL game.  Jake Allen will be given the start for Montreal.

In other news, defenceman Arber Xhekaj was called up from the Laval Rocket on Monday. And while some are looking to the physical impact Xhekaj has on the game, it’s also worth remembering that no other defenceman in the Canadiens lineup has produced better possession numbers than Xhekaj.

MUST READ: Canadiens Reportedly Receiving Calls On Potential Xhekaj Trade

As for the Senators, they seem to be turning a corner when it comes to their awful season. Interim head coach Jacques Martin has done a good job solidifying their defensive structure, which has led to a team with much more confidence, not to mention a team that controls the puck more often than in the past.

They’re fresh off a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, powered by Tim Stutzle’s fantastic offensive prowess. Stutzle always seems to be at his best when he plays the Canadiens. Now that he has momentum on his side, the Habs will have to pay even more attention to the 22-year-old centre.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • Carey Price (IR)
  • Chris Wideman (IR)
  • Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
  • Alex Newhook (out 10-12 weeks)
  • Christian Dvorak (out)

Ottawa Senators Injuries

  • Travis Hamonic (day-to-day)
  • Dominik Kubalik (day-to-day)
  • Anton Forsberg (IR)

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

LWCRW
Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Joshua RoyAlex NewhookJosh Anderson
Brendan GallagherJake EvansJoel Armia
Jesse YlonenBrandon GignacTanner Pearson
LDRD
Mike MathesonKaiden Guhle
Jayden StrubleJordan Harris
Arber XhekajDavid Savard
Goalie
Jake Allen
Cayden Primeau

Ottawa Senators Projected Lineup

Tkachuk – Norris – Giroux

Greig – Stutzle – Batherson

Joseph – Pinto – Tarasenko

Kelly – Chartier – MacEwen

Defence

Sanderson – Zub

Chabot – Bernard-Dock

Chychrun – Hamonic

Goalie

Korpisalo

 

How to Watch Or Listen

TV

Sportsnet, RDS

Radio

Montreal Candiens: TSN 690