Game Day – Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

7:00 pm

Rogers Sports, Team 1200

7th West (28-22-8) @ 12th East (24-25-6)

The Ottawa Senators stumbled on Saturday against the Oilers, and look to get back on track tonight against another struggling team, the underachieving Tampa Bay Lightning.  This quick two game Flordia road trip is the first of two such ventures within the next month month.  This is a special trip, as many of the players’ fathers are along for the ride.  The games are also very important in the Senators’ playoff quest, so while the trip should be fun, they also need to get down to business.

The Lightning have been very inconsistent this season, and it begins in the net.  42 year old Dwayne Roloson has hit the wall and struggled mightily this season, and has surrendered the #1 role to Mathieu Garon.  Garon hasn’t been much better and the Lightning have the worst GAA and SP in the NHL.

The always dangerous Steven Stamkos is the leader of the Lightning offense, with 37 goals (1st in the NHL) and 62 points (tied for 2nd) pacing the way.

 

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bobby Butler, F, (OTT) - The roller-coaster season for the winger continues as the sometimes healthy scratch has at least temporarily been re-united with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek.  Butler has recorded 3 assists in the role over the last two games, which will go a long way to helping him stay in that position.

Ryan Shannon, F, (TB) – The former Senators winger has been playing on the second line with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis as his linemates over the past few games, as the Lighning look for any answer to claw back into the playoff race.

 

3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY

1. Quality Scoring Chances – Shots aren’t enough, they need to shoot from higher percentage scoring areas.  They did this against Nashville, but against Edmonton and previously, Toronto, they  were kept to the outside.

2.  Shut Down Stamkos – The Lightning sniper has 14 points (6 goals) in 14 career games against the Senators. He is the most dangerous player on the roster and holding him to 1, or better yet, no points, will give the Senators a great chance.

3.  Craig Anderson – Didn’t have the greatest performance against the Oilers, and probably should have had Ben Eager’s goal.  Given the way the season is going, he will most likely start both games on this trip.  Winning both will go a long way toward a playoff spot, while losing both would be devastating.

 

Check back after the game for a full recap.

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Topics: Bobby Butler, Craig Anderson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Ottawa Senators, Stephane Da Costa, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

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