The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens are among the NHL's top defensive teams, but the banged-up Senators are dealing with an injury to starting goaltender Craig Anderson.
Anderson could be out again as Ottawa's tries to extend a season-high win streak to five Monday night against the visiting Canadiens, winners in six of seven.
The Senators are allowing 1.8 goals per game and their starting goaltender has played a big part in that success with a 1.49 goals-against average in 15 contests. Anderson, though, sprained his ankle in Thursday's shootout win over the New York Rangers and reportedly won't return until the start of a five-game road trip in Boston on Feb. 28, at the earliest.
Ben Bishop kept the Senators rolling by earning that shootout victory then stopped 26 shots in a 3-2 home win over Toronto on Saturday. Colin Greening led his team to a fourth straight victory with a career high-tying three points, including the tiebreaking goal with 24 seconds left.
Along with Anderson's injury, Ottawa (11-6-2) is playing without reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, who is set to miss the season while recovering from a lacerated Achilles tendon. Jason Spezza (back), Milan Michalek (knee), Peter Regin (chest), Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash) and Jared Cowen (hip) are also among the team's ailing players.
"It feels great to be able to put a streak like this together," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We've had guys step up."
The Senators will try to rely on their depth again to get past the Canadiens, who are allowing 2.1 goals per game and have excelled defensively during much of their 6-0-1 stretch. Montreal has allowed one goal or fewer in five of those games, and is coming off Saturday's 3-0 win over the New York Rangers.
Carey Price faced only 17 shots in earning his second shutout in four games and record Montreal's third in six contests. He had given up four goals in his previous start, an overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday.
The Canadiens (12-4-2) have helped Price and Peter Budaj, who has yielded one goal over his last two games, by holding three of their past five opponents to fewer than 20 shots.
"We have a style to play. It's a demanding style, but we want to be a team that's tough to play against," coach Michel Therrien said.
Ottawa posted a 33-32 shot advantage in Montreal on Feb. 3, but lost 2-1 as Price outdueled Anderson. Neither team scored after Erik Cole's goal with 8:31 left in the first period.
The teams have split their last six matchups but the Senators have outscored the Canadiens 7-2 in winning the past two at Scotiabank Place.
They earned their most recent home win over Montreal on Jan. 30 with Budaj in net, but might have to face Price, who is 7-0-2 with a 1.41 GAA in his last nine matchups.
Bishop is 1-0-1 with a 1.41 GAA in two career starts versus the Canadiens.
If Bishop starts again, he might want to keep an eye out for Cole. The winger has eight goals and five assists in his last 12 games against Ottawa.
The Senators are seeking their first five-game home win streak since a run of seven from Jan. 19-Feb. 11, 2010, and the Canadiens are trying to earn a fourth straight road win for the first time since March 5, 2011.
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