Daniel Alfredsson = Hab killer, Halak in goal tonight

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Daniel Alfredsson showed his great leadership in his first game back with the Ottawa Senators after a shoulder injury sidelined him for three weeks.

The Senators’ captain notched a goal and two assists in his return to the lineup, and rookie Zack Smith scored his first NHL goal (shorthanded) in the Senators’ 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre Saturday night.

Alfie, the Hab Killer, who missed 11 games because of a separated left shoulder, an injury he suffered against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Chris Phillips scored 1:22 apart in the second frame to give Ottawa a 3-2 lead.

3rd string goalie Mike Brodeur stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced in his third career start and second in a row, including a 2-0 win in New York against the Rangers on Thursday night for his first shutout. The Canadiens will face these same Rangers tonight in Madison Square Garden.

Benoit Pouliot and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, which has lost three of four against Ottawa this season. Montreal went 0-6 on the power play, failing to generate quality scoring chances and allowing a shorthanded goal to Smith.

The Canadiens played on their heals the whole game as if they didn’t have any confidence in their goaltender. Price who didn’t look sharp in any of the three goals he allowed, made 24 saves in the loss. His record is now a unexceptional 11-16-3. Jaroslav Halak will be in goal tonight against the Rangers. Halak, last played a week ago, making 26 saves in a 2-1 OT loss to the Devils last Saturday.

I really hope Jacques Martin rides Halak for a while now as Price has not shown any confidence or consistency in his past few starts. He has look shaky at best, giving up bad rebounds, having problems handling the puck behind his net and failing to make big saves when his team really needs it.

The Rangers, which lost 4-1 to St. Louis yesterday, are having a tough time scoring, finding the back of the net only once in the past three games. Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal for the Blue Shirts as Chad Johnson made a rare start in yesterday’s loss, his second career NHL start.

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