The Ottawa Senators will travel to Montreal for a matchup with the Canadiens on Tuesday, December 4 at 7:30 ET. The Sens come in having won three straight games. They hold a 5-5-0 record in their last ten and are sixth in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens fell to San Jose in their last game and are two points ahead of Ottawa in the standings. Montreal has not looked great recently going 3-5-2 in their last ten games. For our Senators play Canadiens free pick, we see goaltending, recent offensive production, and the return of star defenseman Shea Weber playing roles in the outcome of the game.
Craig Anderson will get the nod in net for Ottawa. Anderson has a .905 save percentage and 3.62 GAA through his 23 starts. Considering his team has allowed a league high 37.9 shots per game, these numbers aren’t as bad as they look. Anderson played very well in his last game, stopping 36 of 38 shots in a 6-2 victory over San Jose. He faces a Montreal club that has scored more than two goals in a game just once in their last five contests.
Carey Price will get his fifth start in a row against Ottawa. Price had an all right start to the season for the Habs. Although he has been cold as of late. During November, he stopped .886 percent of shots faced and allowed 3.81 goals per game. He surrendered three goals on 29 shots in his last outing. He currently sits with a .898 save percentage and a 3.06 GAA on the year. He will try to match up against a Senators lineup that has averaged 3.80 goals per game over their last five.
Can the Hab’s Offence Get Going Again?
Montreal has struggled scoring recently. Although Jonathan Drouin (9-13-22) and Tomas Tatar (11-10-21) have been producing as of late, their other top forwards have not. Leading scorer Max Domi (11-16-27) has just a single assist in his last five games. Brendan Gallagher (11-6-17) has been cold as well, with only a goal and an assist in the same span.
Meanwhile the Sens have been a surprise offensively, scoring the third-most goals in the NHL thus far. Matt Duchene (12-21-33), Mark Stone (12-17-29), and defenseman Thomas Chabot (7-24-31) have led the way. Duchene is currently eighth in league-scoring while Chabot is first among defensemen. Brady Tkachuk (9-7-16) has been impressive as well. The rookie has scored at a point-per-game pace in his 16 games played. Ottawa has seen their depth scoring take off recently as well. As of late, they have received offensive contributions from Bobby Ryan, Drake Batherson, Ryan Dzingel, and Zack Smith.
How Will Shea Weber’s Presence Influence the Matchup?
The Habs were happy when Shea Weber suited up for the first time on the season last Tuesday. Since returning to their lineup, He has two goals and one assists in three games. Weber was absent during the clubs’ only meeting when Ottawa pulled off an overtime win. Plugging Weber back into the lineup does vastly improve the Habs defensive corps. He has been great since returning. He can be expected to play a big role in this game.
Senators Play Canadiens Free Pick
This matchup should be interesting as both teams are neck and neck in the standings. The return of Shea Weber should have an impact on the outcome of this game relative to the teams’ last meeting. While it does help having him back, Ottawa’s emergence of secondary scoring looks promising against a Habs team that has seen recent struggles in the crease. Coupled with Montreal’s current lack of offensive production, we believe this should be a good game. Our Senators play Canadiens free pick sees Ottawa coming out on top.