Game Day: Ottawa Senators @ Dallas Stars

Thursday December 1st, 2011

8:30 pm

SNET-OTT, TVA, Team 1200

8th East (12-10-2)  @7th West (14-9-1) 

 

The Ottawa Senators travelled to Winnipeg for the first time in over a decade on Tuesday to take on the new Winnipeg Jets. The Senators managed to come out on top in the high scoring back and forth game, as they defeated the Jets 6-4. The Sens now move on to Dallas, stop two of the current three game road trip. These two teams only face off once a year, with Dallas winning the last two meetings.

Ottawa is currently holding on to an eighth place spot in the Eastern conference however with several teams having games in hand, the Sens want a win to expand the one point difference between them and ninth place. Dallas will be looking to do the same but in the Western Conference.

The injuries seem to be a never ending story for the Senators as  two more were injured last game. A scary incident in the first period of Tuesday’s game saw the skate of a falling Jet player hit Nikita Filatov in the face. It could’ve have been a much worse situation though as the blade just barely missed him. Filatov did not to return to the game due to a headache and dizziness and what appeared to be a broken nose at the time (it has now been ruled as a fracture and not fully broken). Filatov felt a lot better at practice yesterday and should be good to go against Dallas tonight. The Sens also lost Kuba during that game to an upper body injury and it’s doubtful he will play. If he misses tonight, MacLean said it is more likely Brian Lee fill the spot than Matt Carkner, who is close but not quite there yet. Chris Neil says he is ready to play again after missing time with an ankle injury though he may be sitting one more game as a precaution. Peter Regin is still weeks away with a shoulder injury.

Dallas will be without number one goalie Kari Lehtonen, as well as defensemen Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley.  For the forwards, Adam Burish and Stars captain Brenden Morrow will also be out. Andrew Raycroft is expected to get his 7th start of the year. Craig Anderson should be getting the nod for the Sens.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Zack Smith, C (OTT) -  Smith has been an offensive surprise to many this season as he currently sits fourth among Senators forwards with 13 points (6-7). He also has a team leading 3 game winning goals. Smith has three goals in his last two games which includes the game winning goals for both of those games.

Michael Ryder, RW (DAL) – Ryder had two goals in his last game including the game winner as Dallas beat Colorado 3-1. He also has 5 points  in his last 5 games. Ryder sits third on the dallas roster in points with 16, and second in goals with 9.

Here’s the expected Sens line-up:

Forwards:

Greening – Spezza – Filatov

Michalek – Foligno – Alfredsson

Daugavins – Smith – Condra

Konopka – Winchester – Butler

Defence:

Phillips – Karlsson

Cowen – Gonchar

Rundblad – Lee

Goaltenders

Anderson

Auld

The Senators finished the month quite evenly gaining 12 points in 12 games though it was slightly worse than October’s 14 points in 12 games. December has more games (15) for the Sens than any other month and will be important test for the team. The Senators have not finished a month below .500 and will need to continue that, especially in this busy month, to remain a playoff contender. The Senators need to continue producing goals the way they have but work on allowing less against in the process. If they can do that, they should be able to win or at least be competitive in most of their games.

Check back here after the game for SenShot’s full game recap. Enjoy the game and Go Sens Go!!!

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Tags: Dallas Stars Game Preview NHL Ottawa Senators

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