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Sens, Habs at the 'four-front'

It's a division game and a rivalry, so tonight's game is already a big one

Tuesday, 11.11.2008 / 2:33 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Sens, Habs at the \'four-front\'
It's early but it really isn't.

Not when it comes to stating the significance of a matchup between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens, that is. They'll meet six times this season, starting with tonight's game at the Bell Centre in Montreal (7 p.m., TSN, Team 1200).

Though the Senators (6-6-2) currently occupy 10th spot in the Eastern Conference standings, the fifth-place position held by the Canadiens (8-2-2) is a mere four points away. Meaning showdowns like these are a prime opportunity to make up ground.

"Any time you play division games, it's really important, and Montreal is no different," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said after the team's pre-game skate earlier today at the Bell Centre. "They've been a really good team the last few years and it's a game we look forward to (playing).

"It's early in the season but it's a four-point game and we would love to win it."

Though it's barely mid-November, Senators head coach Craig Hartsburg said it's never too early to have that mentality when it comes to division games in particular.

"We're starting to get to that point in the season – and obviously, it's still early – but every game in your division and your conference becomes more and more important," he said. "This is the first time we play (Montreal this season) and we've got to make sure our game is ready."

The atmosphere figures to be charged for this one in an arena that Alfredsson calls "one of the best buildings in the world to play in. Their fans are very passionate and really into their team."

"Playing in Montreal, where the media coverage is unbelievable and the fans are right into it," said Senators defenceman Alex Picard. "It just makes for a great game. It's the kind of ambience you want to play in as a hockey player. It's definitely always a good matchup there."

Around the boards

Goaltender Alex Auld (5-2-1), who leads the National Hockey League with a 1.84 goals-against average, makes the start for the Senators tonight. You'll also hear his voice during the TSN telecast. The network asked him to recite the words of In Flanders Fields, the famous poem written during the First World War by Canadian Lt.-Col John McCrae, as part of a Remembrance Day tribute that will air during tonight's broadcast. Auld was born at CFB Cold Lake in Alberta and his family has a long association with the Canadian forces ... Fewer than 1,500 tickets are available for Thursday's game against the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., Sportsnet East, Team 1200), while only 100 remain for the Nov. 20 rematch between the Sens and Habs in Ottawa.



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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 61 15 33 2 48
B. Ryan 57 16 31 10 47
K. Turris 61 15 28 -5 43
M. Hoffman 58 23 17 25 40
M. Stone 59 15 24 10 39
M. Zibanejad 59 16 18 4 34
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 56 11 14 -2 25
D. Legwand 59 8 14 -4 22
A. Chiasson 55 9 12 -8 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02