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Tonight, our very own Ottawa Senators head to Glendale, Arizona (home of John McNugget) to face the Phoenix Coyotes (insert Hamilton comment here). After two straight losses in California by 3 goals to the Sharks and Kings, Ottawa will try to reverse their fortunes against a team they have dominated over the years. Last year, the Sens beat Phoenix 6-3 lead by Jarkko Ruutu and Jason Spezza who had 2 goals each on the night.
Peter Laviolette, now head coach of the Flyers said on the TSN panel before being hired that always the 2nd game of a West Coast Trip will hurt a team. After that, it’s smooth sailing. At first I was dumbfounded, but I actually get it now, especially for the Sens. The first game was all emotional, and there was no time to be tired. But then, the second game, the time zone change finally caught up to them. Now that they’re getting used to it, Ottawa will have a btter effort tonight. Of course, some stupid NHL scheduling means they will head back to Anaheim right after this game. Fun.
Sens Twitter says Brian Elliott will start tonight, which surprises me a bit. I thought he would get a rest tonight to play a mroe dangerous team in Anaheim tomorrow. Guess Mike Brodeur will start his first game ever in the NHL against the Ducks. Nick Foligno will play on the 4th line with Peter Regin and Jesse Winchester tongiht after sitting in the pressbox on Thursday, while Ryan Keller will be a healthy scratch. Alexandre Picard will not play tonight due to a shoulder injury and Chris Campoli will play alongside Matt Carkner instead. Milan Michalek will face his younger brother tonight, Zbynek Michalek who plays D for the Yotes.
Phoenix has been somewhat surprising this season, after the turmoil they faced in the off-season. Shane Doan, their captain who usually leads the offensive firepower for the desert, hasn’t been very good this seson and maybe age is catching up to him, even though he’s only 34. How long before he wants out of Phoenix (Toronto fans just went parading) ? Peter Mueller is out for the game and reports are he’s having trouble with new coach Dave Tippett. Yes, the Yotes do have Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata along with Ilya Bryzgalov in net, but this one should be a hard fought win in the Desert for Ottawa.
Ottawa 5 (Shannon, Alfredsson, Kovalev, Regin, Spezza)
Phoenix 2 (Aucoin, Hanzal)
Player of the Game: Ryan Shannon