It’s payback time for Bobby Ryan and the Ottawa Senators as the tables are turned and the Anaheim Ducks travel for the second half of back to backs after Ottawa did the same less than 2 weeks ago.
7:30 PM, CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
TV: Rogers Sportsnet RADIO: TSN1200
The Ducks hosted the Senators on October 13th, and the result wasn’t pretty. Anaheim fired 56 shots (9 at starter Craig Anderson and 47 at reliever Robin Lehner) which set a record for both clubs in terms of shots on goal by Anaheim and shots allowed by Ottawa. The final result was a 4-1 Ducks victory.
Ottawa played by far their best game of the season in destroying the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 on Wednesday night, while Anaheim dropped a 4-1 decision to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night and get right back at it.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Corey Perry, ANA – Leads the team with 5 goals and is tied with Mathieu Perreault for the team lead in points with 9. He is one minute off the team lead in PIMs with 14. Perry is a great player when he wants to be, but lately he seems to lack an intensity to his game that made him a superstar and one of the game’s best wingers in 2009-10.
Milan Michalek, OTT – Although he has never reached the status of Perry, Michalek is also lacking something in his game. He has just 2 goals and 3 assists in 9 games despite the success of Jason Spezza. He just doesn’t seem to be engaged in the play, and if you could point at any player not being at his best in the game against Detroit, for my money it would be Michalek.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Payback – The Senators were in the very tough end of a back to back on the road last time these teams met. They were back on the ice less than 18 hours after the Saturday night game in San Jose and the performance was flat. The Senators, and especially Bobby Ryan, want to show the Ducks that they aren’t the same team that let the Ducks walk all over them two weeks ago.
2. Teemu’s Last Ride? – With 43 year old Teeemu Selanne in his last season, will Ottawa fans get to see him one last time? He hasn’t been playing back-to-backs as per the coaching staff’s plan, and he played last night in Montreal so there is some doubt as to whether he will be in the lineup against the Senators.
3. Anderson – Part of that loss to the Ducks in Anahiem was the fact that Craig Anderson was pulled before the 5 minute mark, allowing 2 goals on 9 shots. While you can’t point the finger at Andy and it was really a mercy pull, you can bet that he wants to make a better showing this time around.
If the Senators can duplicate the performance they put on the ice against the Red Wings, even 75% of the time, they will be a very hard team for anyone in the NHL to beat. They were firing on almost all cylinders, and that level of intensity is how the team needs to play. It is impossible to bring it every night to that level, but its great to see when it happens, and it was really the first time in 9 games that we saw it from them.