Sunday, November 27th, 2011
Sportsnet Sens, Team 1200
12th East (10-10-2)@14th East (8-12-4)
The Ottawa Senators return home today, welcoming the Carolina Hurricanes to Scotiabank Place. Both teams are coming off losses heading into tonight’s game, with the Sens losing 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Canes losing 3-1 to the Winnipeg Jets. This is the second meeting between these two teams. The first being a 3-2 shootout win for the Sens in Carolina back in October. Both teams are looking to begin their climb back into a playoff position in the tightly packed Eastern Conference. The Senators are currently 3 points behind the 8th place Washington Capitals who sit at 25 points. It should also be noted that the Hurricanes have had a miserable November thus far, going 4-8-1. Ottawa hopes they can add to the Canes misery tonight.
Carolina is led in scoring by the last year’s Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner who has 21 points (9G 12A) on the season. Behind Skinner is veteran Jussi Joninen who stands at 15 points (4G 11A). Meanwhile, goaltender Cam Ward has held his own so far this season. Ward has faced an average of over 31 shots a game this season, but has manage to retain a respectable .908 SV% to go along with a 3.05 GAA. Ward will be facing Craig Anderson in today’s tilt.
In a somewhat suprising move, Nikita Filatov has been called up for this match, while Stephane Da Costa has been sent back down to Binghamton. This will be Filatov’s 4th game in 4 days and likely his last chance to prove he belongs in the NHL. As well, David Rundblad will find himself back in the lineup which means Brian Lee is back in the press box. Chris Neil (ankle), Matt Carkner (knee) and Peter Regin (shoulder) all remain out of the lineup recovering from injury. For Carolina, defenceman Jay Harrison will be out of the lineup with an upper body injury,
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Craig Anderson, G (OTT) – After getting pulled early against the Penguins, Anderson will look to have a bounceback game. A bad performance on home ice could draw the ire of Senators fans, especially given the play of Brian Elliott.
Eric Staal, C (CAR) – More than a quarter way through the season and Staal is finding himself under the magnifying glass. He currently sits on a lowly 10 points (4G 6A) as well as a team worst plus/minus of -17. As captain, this is definitely not the type of season he envisioned having.
4 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
1. Returning Home – The Ottawa Senators are finally going to be the home team after a 6 game road trip. They haven’t played at Scotiabank Place since Nov.9 in a 3-2 loss to the NY Rangers. Paul MacLean can look forward to getting the last change to dictate the line matchups for tonight’s tilt.
2. Jason Spezza - After scoring 15 points in October, Spezza has only managed 5 so far in November. One would have to think it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out again.
3. EK65 – Erik Karlsson is still tied for the defenceman points leader (19) with Florida’s Brian Campbell. Will Karlsson (who leads the NHL All Star voting for defencemen) find himself to be the sole leader after this game?
4. Prove Yourself – Youngsters Nikita Filatov and David Rundblad both find themselves back in the lineup and are getting the chance to prove they belong in the NHL. A few more subpar performances by either player and they may find themselves in Binghamton soon (or in Filatov’s case, back in Russia).
Be sure to check back here on SenShot for a complete recap after the game. GO SENS GO!!!
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