With the end of the 6 game season-opening road trip in sight, the Ottawa Senators could really use a win before the trip is over to come home on a positive note, and they will do so in a homecoming for one of their own, and they will look across the ice at a familiar face.
(1-1-2, 4 points) T-6th Atlantic Division
(3-1-0, 6 points) T-3rd Pacific Division
8:00 PM EST, Honda Center
TV: Rogers Sportsnet RADIO: TSN1200
Tickets: Senators vs. Ducks tickets
PAST HISTORY: Since they lost to the Duck in the 2007 Stanley Cup final, the Senators haven’t had much success against Anaheim. The Senators are 1-3-1 in the five meetings since then, with each team winning a shootout decision. They have all been close, with the last 3 being one-goal games.
LAST GAMES: While Ottawa was at it less than 24 hours before this game, losing 3-2 to the Sharks in San Jose, the well rested Ducks have been off since their 6-0 drubbing of the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bobby Ryan, OTT: Ottawa’s key off-season acquisition, the Senators winger returns to the place where he played parts of 6 seasons and was the #2 overall draft pick in the 2005 draft behind Sidney Crosby. He leads the Senators with 2 goals and is tied with Kyle Turris for the team lead with 4 points.
Jakob Silfverberg, ANA: After being drafted by, and playing his rookie season in Ottawa, Silfverberg will face the Senators for the first time after being dealt in the package that netted the Senators Ryan. Silfverberg has fit in nicely on the Ducks’ second line, netting 4 goals and an assist in 4 games so far.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR TONIGHT’S GAME
1. Anderson Rested: Craig Anderson is rested and will need to be sharp to keep the Sens in the game, as it could be a weary group in front of him. He was great after the first period in LA on Wednesday, allowing his team to come back and get at least a point in a game that many thought they were out of after 20 minutes trailing 3-0.
2. Discipline: For the last two games, ill-timed and foolish penalties cost the Senators. They need to stay out of the box, or at least when they take a penalty, make sure it is a necessary one. If they keep taking needless trips to the box, the Senators will put themselves behind the 8-ball once again.
3. Coming In Hot?: This is a big game for Ryan, who will make his only trip in front of the fans who he played in front of for so many years. He will no doubt want to put on a good show, but the question is how Spezza’s groin has held up after last night’s game and if it is up for a back-to-back situation. If not, it could be Stephane Da Costa centering Ryan and Milan Michalek.
Even though they allowed 50 shots against the Sharks, the Senators showed that they can hold their own against a league powerhouse in their own backyard. The loss was tough, but they will be better off for the experience, as long as they learn from it. Now it turns to another hostile environment that hasn’t been to kind to the Senators in recent years, and although not essential, 2 points would be very welcome.