Saturday, December 10th, 2011
CBC, RDS, Team 1200
10th East (13-12-4)@6th West (17-10-1)
The Ottawa Senators return to Scotiabank Place to host the Vancouver Canucks. The Senators are coming of a disappointing shootout loss in New Jersey where they squandered a 3-0 lead, to lose 5-4. Today’s game also marks the return of Peter Regin and Matt Carkner from their injuries earlier this season. This is the second and last meeting between these two clubs. They last met in Vancouver on November 20th, where the Sens fell 2-1 in overtime.
Meanwhile after a slow start the Canucks are beginning to pick it up just like their fellow Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Bruins. The last time the Sens met the Canucks, they were only playing .500 hockey and found themselves out of a playoff spot in the West. Including that win against the Senators, Vancouver has won 8 of their last 9 games, and are currently riding a 3 game winning streak.
The Canucks continue to be led in scoring by the Sedin twins. Daniel Sedin leads the team with 33 points (12G and 21A) and Henrik Sedin is close behind with 31 points (8G and 23A). Since winning against Ottawa, backup goaltender Cory Schneider has been hot. He’s increased his SV% to .934 and lowered his GAA to 2.02, making his stats far superior than that of starter Roberto Luongo. However, it will be Luongo who gets the start tonight facing fellow starter Craig Anderson.
With two new bodies coming in, it means several players will be on the sidelines. Sergei Gonchar remain out with the upper body injury suffered last game against New Jersey. Meanwhile Zenon Konopka and Nikita Filatov will be healthy scratches. For Vancouver, David Booth will not play after suffering an MCL sprain that’s expected to keep him out for at least a month. Fourth liner Aaron Volpatti will also be unavailable with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jared Cowen, D (OTT) – Jared Cowen should be relied on heavily tonight to help shut down the Sedin twins. He’s been one of Ottawa’s best defencemen this year even though it’s only his first year in the league. Expect his offensive game to start showing as well the more comfortable he gets.
Roberto Luongo, G (VAN) – Even though backup Corey Schneider has been the better goalie and responsible for Vancouver’s climb in the standings, Luongo is the one being the paid the big bucks. He’ll be given every chance to reclaim that starter position. He’s coming off a big comeback shootout win against Montreal.
THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. Return of the injured – The Ottawa Senators welcome back Peter Regin and Matt Carkner to the lineup. Regin returning is great news for Sens fans as he makes the top 2 lines that much more complete. He will be playing left wing with Nick Foligno and Daniel Alfredsson.
2. 9MM - Milan Michalek now has 18 goals on the season tying him with Phil Kessel for the goal lead. He’ll be looking to take sole possession of that spot tonight.
3. The old first line – Expect to see the old first line of Colin Greening, Jason Spezza, and Milan Michalek back together. They had great success earlier in the season, and with the return of Peter Regin it allows coach MacLean to reunite the trio. (Edit: It appears as if Paul MacLean will be starting with Kaspars Daugavins in place of Colin Greening for the first line)
Be sure to check back here on SenShot for a complete recap after the game. GO SENS GO!!!
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