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Tuesday, 11.11.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

The Ottawa Senators appear to have rebounded from their struggles of the first few weeks of the season.

The Senators look to bounce back from their first regulation loss in two weeks when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night in the first meeting of the season between the Northeast Division rivals.

Ottawa (6-6-2) returns to the ice after falling 2-1 at Carolina on Friday, marking the first time in six contests the Senators failed to earn at least one point. Ottawa has allowed nine goals in regulation in going 4-1-1 since starting the season 2-5-1.

The Senators will be in for a challenge against Montreal (8-2-2), which is 4-1-0 at home.

"It's a good chance for us to judge ourselves as a team," forward Jason Spezza told the Senators' official Web site.

Mike Fisher scored in the second period, but the Senators allowed two goals in the third for its first regulation defeat since falling 3-2 at Toronto on Oct. 25.

"It wasn't our best game, no question," Fisher said. "We tried to stick with it. We didn't create a ton of offensive chances. We just didn't handle the pucks that well. To lose it like that in the third is disappointing."

Daniel Alfredsson recorded an assist in his third straight game, while leading scorer Dany Heatley had his goal-scoring streak snapped at five games after being held without a point against the Hurricanes.

Heatley had five goals and seven assists in seven games versus Montreal last season. Alfredsson had four goals and 11 assists as Ottawa won five of eight meetings with the Canadiens in 2007-08.

Though Martin Gerber made 28 saves Friday in his return after missing six games with a leg injury, Alex Auld is expected to start against the Canadiens. Auld, who is 5-2-1 with a league-leading 1.84 goals-against average in his first season with Ottawa, is 1-1-1 with a 2.49 GAA versus Montreal.

The Canadiens try to avoid a third straight loss after falling 6-3 at Toronto to conclude a 2-1-1 road trip. Robert Lang, Tomas Plekanec and Saku Koivu scored for the Canadiens, who matched a season high for goals allowed.

Carey Price made 35 saves, but has allowed 10 goals in his last two starts. Price is 6-2-1 with a 2.61 GAA this season and 3-1-0 with a 2.14 GAA at home. He is 2-2-0 with a 3.06 GAA against Ottawa.

Plekanec has three goals and four assists in his last three contests while Koivu scored for the first time in five games.

Montreal will be without right wing Tom Kostopoulos, who was suspended three games for his check on Toronto's Mike Van Ryn, who suffered a concussion, and broken nose and hand.

"I was trying to get in there, get a hit and get the puck," said Kostopoulos, who received a five-minute boarding penalty and game misconduct for the hit. "Like I said, I didn't anticipate him turning and I couldn't stop myself. And I hope he's all right."

Kostopoulos can return Nov. 16 at St. Louis.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 06 '09OTT 3 at MTL 2D. Heatley
Mar 19 '09MTL 4 at OTT 5D. Alfredsson
Feb 21 '09OTT 3 at MTL 5P. Brisebois
Jan 17 '09MTL 5 at OTT 4 - SOA. Kovalev
Nov 20 '08MTL 3 at OTT 2 - SOA. Tanguay
Nov 11 '08OTT 0 at MTL 4C. Higgins
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Heatley159615-31662
D. Alfredsson1431114+2430
F. Kuba1501414+3600
J. Spezza155813-2611
S. Donovan14325+4600
J. Ruutu15235+22700
M. Fisher13235-31101
A. Picard15224-1020
A. Vermette15224-51210
N. Foligno15224-10800
J. Winchester15134-2200
A. Volchenkov15213-21401
C. Neil15213-44300
D. McAmmond15123+3400
C. Kelly15123-3401
C. Schubert12123-31010
B. Lee5022+1000
C. Phillips15011-61200
J. Smith15000-11400
L. Richardson2000-3200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Auld95-3-1192642.08.928
M. Gerber61-4-1191863.17.898
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Tanguay137815+51240
A. Markov1311314+5811
S. Koivu135813+9401
A. Kovalev135712+1612
T. Plekanec134610+0810
R. Lang13459+61421
G. Latendresse13268+51300
C. Higgins7437+2201
S. Kostitsyn13347+22020
R. Hamrlik12235+51400
A. Kostitsyn11134+51000
J. Gorges13033+4400
R. O'Byrne10033+2800
F. Bouillon8202+41201
T. Kostopoulos11112+13300
P. Brisebois10112+2410
M. Komisarek13101+52800
M. Lapierre13101-11300
S. Begin5101+0400
M. Dandenault9011+2200
G. Laraque7000-21900
K. Chipchura1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Price107-2-1233062.34.925
J. Halak42-0-191012.60.911