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|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30 BRT, November 20, 2019
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec Attendance: 20,862
Resilient Canadiens ready for Senators
The Montreal Canadiens are off to a fine start, and a general air of optimism hovers around the club.
However, the good feeling surrounding the organization, which is off to an 11-6-4 start, took a bad twist as Montreal prepares to host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
The Canadiens learned they will be without forwards Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron, both injured in a Friday win against the Washington Capitals. The two players underwent surgeries that will keep them sidelined for lengthy periods.
Drouin, 24, had wrist surgery Monday and is expected to miss a minimum of two months. He was playing well, netting seven goals and adding eight assists for his hometown team.
Byron, 30, underwent knee surgery on Tuesday. He's expected to be out at least four weeks.
Canadiens forward Max Domi said of the news, "It's a tough pill to swallow, but other guys have to step up. There's no doubt in my mind. We all know we have the character in here for guys to step up. When someone goes down, it's an opportunity for someone else."
Montreal didn't step up Tuesday night at Columbus. The Blue Jackets overcame a 2-1, second-period deficit by scoring four unanswered goals, including three in the third period, to pull out a 5-2 victory.
The loss was just Montreal's second in regulation in the past 11 games (7-2-2). Artturi Lehkonen and Joel Armia scored for the Canadiens, and Carey Price made 21 saves.
Montreal and Ottawa will be meeting for the first time this season.
The Senators have won five of their past seven contests -- a positive span compared to their dreadful start to open the season.
Amid low preseason expectations, Ottawa struggled through a 1-6-1 stretch from Oct. 2-21.
However, the Senators' defense has helped the team get its season back on track.
Leading 4-2 in Detroit on Tuesday night, Ottawa saw Detroit pull its goalie for an extra skater in the third period, and Anthony Mantha tallied for the Red Wings with 2:46 left.
The Senators still held on for a 4-3 victory despite getting outshot 38-33.
Anthony Duclair scored twice in a three-point game, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brady Tkachuk also tallied. Anders Nilsson notched 35 saves for Ottawa, which has won five of its past seven games.
In the five recent victories, the Senators allowed two goals or fewer four times. Carolina and Buffalo combined for 12 goals in two Ottawa road losses over the past two weeks.
Although Ottawa's penalty-killing unit is ranked just 14th in the NHL, the Senators managed to prevent Detroit from scoring on all three of its power-play opportunities.
"It's been the best part of our game probably all year, to be honest," Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. "Those four (defensemen) back there (Mark Borowiecki, Dylan DeMelo, Ron Hainsey, Nikita Zaitsev) are really, really competitive on the penalty kill. I thought Connor Brown, tonight, was exceptional on the penalty kill."
--Field Level Media
Updated November 20, 2019