The Ottawa Senators are going from the frying pan into the ... freezer — and they couldn’t be happier. After snapping a five-game losing streak and winning for just the second time in 14 games, the Senators hope to ride a breath of fresh (and frigid) air when they head outdoors to host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night in the NHL100 Classic.
The game at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park commemorates the anniversary of the league’s 100th season, which kicked off with Montreal posting a 7-4 victory over the Senators on Dec. 19, 1917. “This is cool. I played in an outdoor game before but it was like 70 degrees Fahrenheit,” Ottawa forward Matt Duchene said at Friday’s practice. “For those that were there, it wasn’t as authentic as this is. I’m really excited just to practice today.” The Classic, which is expected to feature temperatures close to zero at the drop of the puck, will mark the opener of a seven-game road trip for Montreal, which arrives with a renewed perspective after snapping a three-game skid Thursday night. “It’s refreshing playing outdoors, breathing in the cold air and playing in the elements. There’s nothing like it,” Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said. “It’s definitely one of those things that I’ll look back on my career and be glad that I took part in it.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, Sportsnet, TVAS
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (14-14-4): Charles Hudon had a game to remember in his first trip to Ottawa, scoring twice and setting up another goal in Montreal’s 8-3 romp over the Senators on Oct. 30. Hudon came up big in Thursday’s 2-1 overtime win over New Jersey, winning a battle along the boards before setting up Tomas Plekanec’s decisive tally. “That’s that extra effort we need from guys,” teammate Andrew Shaw said. “He’s pinned up against the boards against two guys and he still happens to get his stick loose and makes a great play and sets up the winner.”
ABOUT THE SENATORS (10-13-7): Goaltender Craig Anderson endured some rocky moments during Ottawa’s tailspin, but he snapped a personal seven-game losing streak by making 27 saves in the 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night. “It feels good to win,” Anderson admitted. “After what we went through I think coming home and putting on the effort we did and getting the results we wanted, it’s a good feeling in here.” Bobby Ryan, who had a goal and an assist Wednesday, has failed to hit the scoresheet in the past five meetings against the Canadiens.
1. Montreal has won the past five meetings, outscoring Ottawa 20-9.
2. The Senators are 1-for-19 on the power play over the last six games.
3. Canadiens F Phillip Danault collected an assist Thursday to boost his point total to 19, tying Brendan Gallagher for the team lead.
PREDICTION: Canadiens 4, Senators 3