Friday, December 30th, 2011
Sportsnet-East, Team 1200
The Ottawa Senators blew a big game on Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, so tonight’s matchup is doubly important as the Senators sit 2 points out of a playoff spot, and only a couple of points up on two teams that have games in hand on them. They are hosting the equally desperate Calgary Flames, who also find themselves in a dogfight for the final playoff spots, also sitting two points out of the top 8.
The teams also have their respective captains chasing major career milestones. Daniel Alfredsson is one goal shy of 400 in his career, while Jarome Iginla needs 2 goals to reach the lofty 500 mark. Chris Phillips could make his return after missing the Montreal game with an undisclosed injury.
Both clubs in tonight’s tilt need a win, and both lost their last game, Ottawa to the Canadiens and Calgary to the New York Islanders. However, both were also playing well heading into Christmas. The Flames had won 4 in a row, including key wins over Detroit and Vancouver.
This is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs, as Ottawa walked into Calgary and beat the Flames 301 on November 15th, on the strength of Bobby Butler‘s pair of third period goals.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Olli Jokinen, C (CGY) – The on-again, off-again relationship with the Flames seems to be on-again, and the Finnish centre leads the team in scoring. He has amassed 31 points in 38 games so far this season as Calgary’s default #1 centre.
Alex Auld, G (OTT) – Auld was the first goalie off the ice at practice, which means that Craig Anderson will likely get a rest. Auld needs to provide solid goalkeeping for the Senators, as he hasn’t really been able to do when called upon so far this season.
3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY
2. Balanced Attack – The secondary scoring from Kyle Turris and Nick Foligno was not present on Tuesday and it showed. All four lines need to contribute for the Senators to have success
Check back after the game for a full recap.
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