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2013 NHL Playoffs: Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadiens Series Preview

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The upstart Ottawa Senators face Northeast Division foe Montreal for the first time ever in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, just as star defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting up to speed following a long stint on Injured Reserve.

Richard Wolowicz

The SB Nation Blogs

Silver Seven vs. Eyes On The Prize

The Stats

Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Record 25-17-6 14th 29-14-5 4th
GF/Game 2.33 27th 3.04 4th
GA/Game 2.08 2nd 2.58 14th
5-on-5 SF/60 32.8 1st 30.2 7th
5-on-5 SA/60 29.9 21st 26.9 6th
Fenwick Close 52.05 10th 53.63 8th
5-on-5 Save % .934 1st .918 16th
5-on-4 GF/60 5.4 19th 6.7 12th
# of PP's/Gm 3.27 17th 4.22 1st
4-on-5 GA/60 4.2 2nd 7.2 23rd
# of PK's/Gm 3.48 20th 3.60 25th

These are two pretty high-quality teams, with the big matchup taking place on special teams. The Habs draw the most penalty calls in the league and get more than their share of power play opportunities, but the Senators are good penalty killers and have received strong goaltending this season.

Ottawa Senators

The Sens are perhaps the feel-good hit of the NHL season, as they overcame serious injuries to star players but still qualified for the playoffs. Center Jason Spezza has been out since the fifth game of the season after having back surgery, and isn't expected back during this series. 2012 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson missed more than two months following a slice to his Achilles tendon, but returned to the ice recently and is shouldering a full workload, playing more than 27 minutes a night in the final three games of the regular season.

In their absence, the notable name up front was young Kyle Turris, who has seemingly done well for himself after asking for a trade out of Phoenix. He gets about 50% more ice time than he used to, and rewarded that trust by leading the Sens in scoring this season:

Kyle Turris

#7 / Center / Ottawa Senators



Aug 14, 1989

2012 - Kyle Turris 48 12 17 29 6 24 3 0 2 118 10.2

The scene-stealer is goaltender Craig Anderson, however. This guy's numbers have bounced around pretty crazily over the years, but this season has perhaps been his finest effort yet:

Craig Anderson

#41 / Goalie / Ottawa Senators



May 21, 1981

2012 - Craig Anderson 24 1421 12 9 2 40 1.69 677 637 .941 3

Montreal Canadiens

The Habs have run hot & cold in 2013, with both winning and losing streaks of four and five games each. That said, they were able to capture their first Northeast Division title in five years. Max Pacioretty has continued his development to become the Habs' leading scorer (producing nearly a point per game), but the real step forward has been taken by defenseman P.K. Subban, who is getting some run as a Norris Trophy candidate:

P.K. Subban

#76 / Defenseman / Montreal Canadiens



May 13, 1989

2012 - P.K. Subban 42 11 27 38 12 57 7 0 0 126 8.7

All eyes will be on Carey Price, however, as Montreal fans have been waiting for him to assume the mantle of playoff-dominating goalie, in the mold of Patrick Roy or (briefly) Jaroslav Halak. Is this the year he busts through? Through 26 career post-season games, his total save percentage is an unimpressive .907.

Montreal Canadiens/Ottawa Senators TV Schedule

Date Time (CTL) Location TV
Thursday, May 2 6:00 p.m. Montreal CBC, RDS, CNBC
Friday, May 3 6:00 p.m. Montreal CBC, RDS, CNBC
Sunday, May 5 6:00 p.m. Ottawa CBC, RDS, NBC Sports
Tuesday, May 7 6:00 p.m. Ottawa CBC, RDS, CNBC
*Thursday, May 9 6:00 p.m. Montreal CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 11 TBD Ottawa CBC, RDS
*Sunday, May 12 TBD Montreal CBC, RDS

OTF Staff Picks

Picks Winner Comment
Dirk Ottawa Erik Karlsson's return is the X factor which gives the Senators an upset chance.
Sam Montreal I like their jerseys.
Caroline Ottawa They feel like a little bit of an underdog, what with all the injuries, but I think they could pull off a win. Sens in 6.
Jonathan Montreal If any of us are able to stay awake through an entire Senators game, we may just see the Habs win in 6.
Chris Montreal Still can't believe the turnaround in Montreal. Still can't believe the Sens made the playoffs. Habs in 5
George Montreal Total guess. So is 5 games.
Jason Ottawa Deer Antler Spray swings the series...Senators in 6.