Game Preview: Ottawa Senators vs. New York Islanders

Friday February 3rd, 2012

7:30 pm

SNET-E, Team 1200

6th East (27-20-6)  VS.  13th East (20-22-7)

Though we’re beginning month four of the league’s six month season, this is the first game of a four game series between the Ottawa Senators and the New York Islanders. The last time they played was February 15th 2011, a 4-3 shootout loss that was in fact former goalie Brian Elliott’s last game as a Senator. It’s been awhile but the two teams meet up tonight at Scotiabank Place. Senators look at this game as another chance to end their pointless streak which is at a season high of 4 games. They shouldn’t underestimate their opponents though who have gone 4-1-1 in their last six games. 

The last Sens game Tuesday was a disappointing loss to the Boston Bruins. Though there may not have been much of an expectation heading into the game, Ottawa held their ground and had the lead through two so the third period collapse and loss left fans a little sour. The Islanders on the other hand are coming of a big 5-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes, a game in which captain Tavares had a whopping four points.

There don’t seem to be too many major concerns on the injury front for the Senators. Brian Lee is still out but near return. Jesse Winchester  has begun practicing with the team again, he reamains out indefinitely but this is great news for the center who has been out with a concussion since December. Jason Spezza missed practice but is good to go for tonight.

It will be Craig Anderson in nets once again, making his 15th straigh start, this time taking on Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders.

Players To Watch

OTT – Daniel Alfredsson: Watching Alfredsson play you would never guess he’s 39 years old, but alas he is. He also has 39 points. And he’s playing way to well to quit now. Third on the team in scoring, Alfredsson is putting up much better numbers than expected this season. He currently has a three game point streak.

NYI – John Tavares: Though it’s been nearly a year since his team visited Ottawa, Tavares was here just last week as an NHL all-star. Tavares leads his team in points and is currently fifth in the league 53, averaging over a point per game. He has been especially hot lately collecting 5 points (3-2) in his last two games.

Here’s the Sens projected line-up:

Forwards

Condra – Spezza – Michalek
Foligno – Turris – Alfredsson
Greening – Smith – Neil
Daugavins – Konopka – Butler

Defense

Kuba – Karlsson
Cowen – Gonchar
Phillips – Carkner

Goaltenders

Anderson

Auld

Neither Tim Peel nor Dan O’Rourke will be reffing this game so there’s no excuses on that front. It’s reasonable to say officiating has played it’s part in Sens game lately but the Sens just haven’t played well enough to win all these games. They need to step it up and get back to the energetic style they played with through December and early January. It always seems to be a high-scoring affair with these two teams so it’s sure to be an interesting game.

Check back here after the game for SenShot’s full game recap. Until then, GO SENS GO!

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