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NHL: 4 things to know for Saturday night

10/18/2014 12:26 EDT | Updated 12/18/2014 05:59 EST
In a show of solidarity, the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will honour Canadian soldiers Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo, who lost their lives this week in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., and the nation’s capital.

The tribute will be staged simultaneously before games at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, the Bell Centre in Montreal and Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Here’s what you need to know:

Senators play for 1st time in 7 days

The Senators will be playing their first game in seven days. The team’s home game against the Leafs was postponed Wednesday after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed by a gunman at the National War Memorial. That night, the Pittsburgh Penguins paid tribute by playing the Canadian national anthem prior to their contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Sens will make up their game with Toronto on Nov. 9. Ottawa (4-1-0) looks to keep its hot start going as the team welcomes the New Jersey Devils. A victory over the Devils would give the Senators a five-game winning streak, matching their longest stretch from last season. Ottawa defenceman Erik Karlsson has posted 12 points in 11 meetings against New Jersey — eight coming at home. After beginning the season 3-0-0, the Devils have dropped four straight. Their latest defeat — a 3-2 shootout loss — came at the hands of the Dallas Stars. It was also New Jersey's 18th consecutive shootout defeat dating back to March 15, 2013.

Habs, Price rolling

On Monday, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed and another soldier was injured when a man deliberately drove a car into them in the parking lot of a federal building near Montreal. The Canadiens, who take on the Rangers, will play their second game on home ice since that tragedy. The teams play for the first time since the Rangers ousted the Canadiens in the Easter Conference final during last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Goaltender Carey Price, who was injured in Game 1 against the Rangers, will return in net. Price has been sensational, going 5-1-0 with a 2.96 GAA for the red-hot Canadiens (6-1-0). Many have predicted a breakout campaign for Alex Galchenyuk and the third-year centre hasn’t disappointed. Galchenyuk has scored seven points, registering at least one in six of his seven games. 

The Rangers (4-3-0) have had an up and down start to the season. Still, New York is on a three-game winning streak, including a 4-3 overtime win over New Jersey on Tuesday. The Habs will try and contain forward Rick Nash as the veteran ranks second in the NHL this season with eight goals.

Leafs woeful at ACC 

Like Ottawa, the Leafs haven’t played since before Wednesday’s tragedy at the nation’s capital. Toronto (3-3-1) finished off an impressive 5-2 road win against the New York Islanders Tuesday that featured two goals and an assist from Phil Kessel. But home ice has not been kind to the Leafs. The team has dropped three of its first four games at Air Canada Centre, two of which saw fans throw jerseys on the ice. The Bruins (4-5-0) come into the contest battered. Boston was forced to trade defenceman Johnny Boychuk for cap reasons prior to the start of the season. It got worse on Thursday after former Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara suffered a knee injury against the Islanders. Chara is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Improving Flames

The Flames (5-3-1) are playing better than expected. The team has won two of its last three games, including a 5-0 shutout win over Carolina Thursday night. Talented second-year man Sean Monahan scored two goals for the Flames. Washington (3-1-2) suffered its first regulation loss Wednesday to the Edmonton Oilers. Alex Ovechkin has scored at least a point (eight goals, seven assists) in his first seven games against the Flames before being blanked at Calgary last October.

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