Off a roller-coaster game on Saturday against one Western Conference powerhouse, the Ottawa Senators take to the ice Monday night against another one that has definite Stanley Cup aspirations.
7:30 PM Canadian Tire Centre
TV: Rogers Sportsnet; RADIO: TSN1200
These teams have not met since February of 2012, a game that the Blues won 3-1 in Ottawa.
St. Louis fell behind 3-1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first period before scoring one in the 2nd, once in the 3rd and then capping off the comeback in overtime for the 4-3 win. It was their third straight victory. Ottawa fell behind 2-0 early to the Knigs and were never really in the game, dropping a 5-2 decision.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brian Elliott – The former Senators goalie has been the understudy to Jaroslav Halak, but is scheduled to start against the Senators. He is 6-1-1 with a 2.14 GAA and .913 SP, numbers that are slightly below last year’s numbers but very solid behind a stellar team defense.
Jared Cowen – Will return from his 2 game suspension tonight, and hopefully shore up a blue line that was shaky in his absence. He hasn’t had a great season so far and there is no time like the present to step in and take commmand in his own end.
TOP 3 STORYLINES
1. Consistency – Ottawa hasn’t won back to back games in over a month (Nov 9th), and they haven’t been able to beat a top end team since they beat Boston on Nov 15th.
2. Blues Have The Power – A quick glance at the standings shows the Blues in 2nd place in their division and 4th in the conference. However, they have played as many as 5 fewer games than the teams in front of them, and even going .500 in their games in hand will have them in first place.
3. Olympic Influence – There could be a lot of Blues taking part in the upcoming Olympics -as many as a dozen could be representing their respective countries in Sochi, including Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo for Canada.
If they can somehow pull out a win against the Blues, the Senators could have a good opportunity to put together some wins, with New Jersey and Florida on the horizon. Not that any games are gimmes for Ottawa right now, but those are winnable games. After that it gets tough again with Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Boston (twice), and Washington to end the year. If they don’t get some momentum now, it could be curtains despite the fact that they are still within striking distance of a playoff spot at the moment.