Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators: 3 things to watch

The Montreal Canadiens travel to Ottawa tonight for a late season showdown versus the Senators.

P.K. Subban won't be able available for as Habs take on Ottawa

Can the Montreal Canadiens win tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators? (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

The Montreal Canadiens travel to Ottawa tonight for a late season showdown versus the Senators. Montreal is coming off an overtime win over Buffalo, while Ottawa is coming off a 3-1 loss to the very same Sabres.

Here are three things to watch for tonight's all Canadian showdown.

Battle for 12th 

Montreal fans during last year's NHL playoffs. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

The Habs and the Senators are side-by-side in the Eastern Conference standings right now. But unfortunately for fans of both teams, neither are destined for the playoffs.

Right now Ottawa hold a two-point lead over Montreal for 12th place. Tonight is the last meeting of the year between these two rivals and the result could be a deciding factor in who finishes higher in the standings. On the flip side of that it could also be important in determining which team gets a higher draft pick first in the entry draft.

Another one down

Mark Barberio is out indefinitely. (The Associated Press)

The injuries just keep piling up.

The Habs announced at practice yesterday that Mark Barberio has a brain injury and will be out indefinitely. This is a tough break for Barberio, who had been playing well since getting called up from the AHL this season. Barberio started the year in the AHL mainly because the Habs had too much depth on defence coming out of training camp.

However when the injury bug hit, Barberio was called up and since then he has made a strong case that he can be an everyday NHLer.

This brain injury has cut short Barberio's audition and will likely put him back to square one as an NHL-AHL bubble player when training camp starts next year.

A weekend sans Subban

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban suffered a neck injury. (CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

P.K. Subban had a high intensity work out on his own in Brossard this week and it appeared like he was healthy enough to join his teammates again this weekend. He has been out of action since he injured his neck in a game at the Bell Centre against Buffalo on March 10.

But the team isn't taking any chances with their star player. Coach Michel Therrien ruled Subban out for both games this weekend at the practice Friday. It's expected Darren Dietz will play his third career NHL game as Subban's replacement. 

About the Author

Douglas Gelevan

Douglas Gelevan, a national award-winning sports journalist, has been a member of the CBC team since 2010. He is currently the sports journalist for CBC News Montreal.

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