Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
TSN, RDS, Team 1200
After another come from behind OT win in Buffalo last night, the Ottawa Senators return home and have no rest as they get right back to it against the division leading Boston Bruins.
The biggest concern facing the Senators is that Milan Michalek, NHL goals leader (19) will not play after suffering a concussion in the second period of last night’s game, on a collision with teammate Erik Karlsson. Bobby Butler will take his spot in the lineup and get yet another chance to prove that last season’s offensive spark wasn’t a fluke.
Craig Anderson will get back to back starts and will unveil his new heritage mask in tonight’s game as the Sens wear the Herigate Jerseys.
Boston has been nearly unstoppable after their early season “Stanley Cup Hangover”. The Bruins coming to town means a visit from former Sens Joe Corvo, Chris Kelly and Zdeno Chara. The latter Big Z is a question mark as he missed last night with a leg injury but did skate this morning and could suit up tonight. Expect Tim Thomas to play tonight after Tukka Rask played last night and got the shutout in the 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tim Thomas, G (BOS) – Thomas is a Senators killer, with a career record of 20-8-2 against Ottawa. The reigning Vezina trophy winner was pulled after 40 minutes in his last game against Columbus, which Boston came back to win. Before that start he had allowed only 10 goals in his last 7 starts.
Craig Anderson, G (OTT) – For a number of reasons, Anderson will be in the spotlight tonight. Besides unveiling the new mask, Anderson will be looked to to steal another game to keep the Sens afloat. He was the reason the Senators won the game last night in Buffalo, and if Ottawa hopes to win tonight he will probably have to do it again.
3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY
1.Anderson – He will have to be as good as, probably better than Thomas if the Senators want to win.
2. Defense – If the blueliners leave Anderson all alone as much as they did last night, the Senators have no hope to win this one. They need to make better passes, quicker and smarter decision and play better positionally.
3. Third line offense – Zack Smith, Erik Condra and Neil/Daugavins have quieted down offensively, but with Michalek out they need to contribute a goal or two to compensate.
Check back after the game for a full recap.
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