Friday March 2, 2012
TSN, Team 1200
6th East (34-23-8)VS.6th West (34-24-7)
Tonight marks the Senators one and only meeting against the Chicago Blackhawks this season. Ottawa lost the only game last year 3-2 in a shootout. Both teams enter tonight’s game following big victories. After dropping 3 straight Chicago ended their losing streak by beating the Leafs 5-4 at home. Meanwhile Ottawa finally defeated the Northeast leading Boston Bruins after going 0-4-0 against them this season up until Tuesday. That winning feeling has been a familiar one in Ottawa lately, as the team has gone 7-1-1 in their last nine games.
Robin Lehner will get his third straight start after a stellar effort against Boston. Lehner recorded his first ever NHL shutout Tuesday and he couldn’t have picked a better time as the Senators could only manage one goal against Tim Thomas and the Bruins. That was the most scoring trouble the Sens have had in a while. Up until Tuesday, the Sens had scored 3 or more goals in 8 straight games. They scored 36 goals in that span, an average of 4.5 goals per game.
They will look to get back that scoring touch tonight as they face former Senator Ray Emery who will be in nets for Chicago. Chicago has given up at least 3 goals in their past four games, and the Sens are going to try their best to make sure that streak doesn’t end tonight.
Ottawa Senators will not be making any line-up changes, leaving Kaspars Daugavins and Matt Carkner as the healthy scratches once again. Chicago will be without captain Jonathan Toews as well as Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Players To Watch:
Ottawa: Erik Karlsson - Named 2nd Star of the month in February, Erik Karlsson has been absolutely on fire. Karlsson has 18 points (7-11) during his current eight game point streak. He scored the only goal Tuesday to defeat Boston, tying him with Bobby Butler for the team lead in game winning goals.
Chicago: Marian Hossa - As a former Senator and recent All-Star, Hossa is no stranger to Ottawa. He likes Ottawa but he likes playing against Ottawa even more. Hossa has played 14 games against his old team but has 20 points in those games. He leads Chicago in points this season with 62 (26-36) in 64 games, an impressive feat considering the amount of talent on that roster.
Both teams are trying to make a strong end of season push in their respective conferences. Both sit in sixth place but that is changing every day, both conferences with tons of competition fighting for spots. It will definitely make for an intense match up at Scotiabank Place tonight.
Check back here after the game for SenShot’s full game recap. Enjoy the game and GO SENS GO!