Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tonight's Games (Oct 31)

San Jose at Florida 7:30 PM
Ottawa at Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago at NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Nashville at Vancouver 10:00 PM

Game of the Night

Tonight we'll go with a Northeast division game between Ottawa and Montreal. Both teams have played 10 games and won 5 but Montreal has an extra three points by virtue of three shootout losses.

The Sens were red hot up until a Saturday night meeting against Zdeno Chara and the Bruins - in the three prior games they had scored 21 goals in three games. Although Martin Gerber was brought in to be the #1 goalie, he has been outplayed by Ray Emery thus far. Captain Daniel Alfredsson has gotten off to a very slow start with just 6 points in 10 games. Fortunately they have enough depth to overcome a slump by one of their stars. Spezza and Heatley are tied for the team lead with 13 points apiece.

Montreal has alternated between winning one and losing one over the past eight games. They are coming off an exciting shootout loss against Toronto on Saturday. After slumping for most of last season, Sheldon Souray has bounced back strong and is leading the team in scoring (coincidently it is also a contract year for Sheldon). Captain Koivu has recovered from his eye injury last year and the Habs' new addition Sergei Samsonov had his first multi-goal game against Toronto. This is another situation where the backup is outplaying the starter so far, as Huet has yet to match his great success from last season.

TSN is reporting that Wade Redden is questionable for this one, David Aebischer will get the start for the Habs, and Alexei Kovalev will be centering a Russian line with Samsonov and Perezhogin. This is the second meeting so far this year between these two teams - Ottawa won the first one 3-2 in Montreal. These teams are pretty evenly matched and are both deep up front. I expect this one to be close and high scoring, maybe even in Overtime - and I think Ottawa will take the two points.

AP and Getty Photos

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