|OTT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|MTL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
GAME: Ottawa Senators (34-15-8-5) at Montreal Canadiens (30-25-6-2).
TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.
Fresh off one of his best offensive performances of the season, Martin Havlat will look to help the Ottawa Senators hang on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference when they visit the Montreal Canadiens.
Havlat scored three goals and assisted on another in Ottawa's 6-3 win over lowly Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The four points matched a season high for Havlat, who had two goals and two assists in a 4-0 win over Boston on Jan. 17. The hat trick was his first of the season and the fourth of his career.
"We had a quick lead, 2-0, but we had problems with concentration the whole game," said Havlat, who scored two goals, including an empty-netter, in the final 3:33. "The last time we played them (Jan. 22), we were up 6-3 but they came back and had a pretty good chance to tie in the last seconds. We did a much better job at the end this time."
The win boosted the Senators one point ahead of second-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings and tied them with Detroit for the best record in the league. The Flyers face Chicago on Tuesday.
"It's tight, and it will be right to the end," coach Jacques Martin said. "It is a logjam."
Ottawa, which led the league with 206 goals through Sunday's games, is unbeaten in regulation over its last nine (6-0-1-2).
The Canadiens are coming off Monday's 4-1 win over the New York Rangers - just their second win in seven games.
Jose Theodore made 31 saves for his first win since appearing in the All-Star game. He had gone 0-5 with an .873 save percentage since the break.
"Sometimes when a team is losing, you just try to do too much," Theodore said. "I took a different focus and approached it like a playoff game."
Saku Koivu added a goal and two assists for Montreal, which is tied with the New York Islanders for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
STANDINGS: Senators - 81 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 68 points, 4th place, 13 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Marian Hossa, 26 goals, 39 assists and 65 points; Chris Neil, 144 PIM. Canadiens - Richard Zednik, 19 goals; Mike Ribeiro, 36 assists and 52 points; Darren Langdon, 117 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 22): Senators - Power play: 22.1 percent (66 for 299), 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent (223 for 264), 15th. Canadiens - Power play: 17.8 percent (43 for 241), 7th. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (192 for 234), 24th.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Patrick Lalime (21-16-6, 3 SO, 2.26 GAA); Martin Prusek (12-4-2, 3, 1.86). Canadiens - Theodore (23-23-5, 5, 2.19); Mathieu Garon (7-4-1, 2.44).
SEASON SERIES: Senators, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 14; Senators, 5-2. At Ottawa, Zdeno Chara had a goal and two assists for the Senators, who scored three goals in the third period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 14-8-4-1 on the road; Canadiens - 16-11-4-0 at home.
|Mar 25 '04||OTT 4 at MTL 0||B. Smolinski|
|Feb 24 '04||OTT 2 at MTL 4||S. Begin|
|Feb 14 '04||MTL 2 at OTT 5||B. Smolinski|
|Nov 15 '03||MTL 3 at OTT 2||J. Bulis|
|Oct 25 '03||OTT 6 at MTL 2||M. Havlat|
|Oct 09 '03||MTL 2 at OTT 5||P. Schastlivy|