Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200
The suddenly struggling Ottawa Senators face a tough task as they close out their string of 6 straight road games against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. The Senators have lost 3 in a row heading into the All-Star break and are now in a dogfight for a playoff spot. They are tied with the Penguins, with the Panthers, Capitals, Devils and Maple Leafs all within striking distance. One of those clubs will not make the playoffs.
The Bruins are in a fight of their own, as they are battling the Flyers and Rangers for the Eastern Conference title. Boston sits 4 points up on the Senators and still hold a remarkable 4 games in hand.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the Bruins and Sens, with Boston coming away with 5-3 and 5-2 victories.
Jesse Winchester practiced on Monday and is nearing a return, but probably not tonight. Peter Regin, perhaps a forgotten man in the Sens lineup will become even more out of mind now that he has had surgery on his shoulder and is officially done for the season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Daniel Alfredsson, RW (OTT) – Alfredsson didn’t get much rest over the all-star break, as he was the face of the week and the “host” of the proceedings. However, he should be energized by the reception he received from the fans and fellow players.
Zdeno Chara, D, (BOS) – The man with the 108 MPH slapshot leads his team on and off the ice. The former Senator and Alfredsson’s fellow All-Star captain is the integral part to the Bruins’ repeat as cup champs.
3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY
1. Complete Team Effort -The Bruins are one of the most balanced teams in the league, and Ottawa can’t have any players taking a night off.
2. Avoid the Antics – Players like Brad Marchand are a pain in the butt to play against, but Ottawa cannot get wrapped up in extra-curricular activities.
3. Special Teams – These are two of the most penalized teams in the league. The difference is the Bruins are top 10 in both special teams while the Senators are middle of the pack or below in both. Avoiding the box is key.
Check back after the game for a full recap.
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