The Ottawa Senators look to open 2014 the same way they closed 2013 – with a win. They finish their 3 game homestand against a former conference rival that will be making their only appearance in Ottawa Thursday night.
Canadian Tire Centre
TV: Rogers Sportsnet RADIO: TSN1200
This is the first meeting of the season, and the first since the Jets moved from the Eastern to the Western Conference. Ottawa won 2 of the three meetings last year, but were shut out in Ottawa by Al Montoya on Hockey Day In Canada.
Both teams are on winning streaks. Ottawa won their 2nd in a row when they beat Washington 3-1 on Monday, while the Jets won their third straight game against Buffalo by a score of 3-0 on New Year’s Eve.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Blake Wheeler, WPG – Wheeler was named to the 25 man USA Olympic Roster on Wednesday, quite an accomplishment for the big speedy winger. He has 15 goals and 16 assists and has a -2 rating in 42 games this season. He has 12 points in 23 games over his career against the Senators.
Bobby Ryan, OTT – Ryan was snubbed in favor of Wheeler (among others) when the Team USA roster was named. Despite being the 5th leading point getter and 3rd leading goal scorer among American born players. This will be his first chance to prove USA Hockey brass wrong and play with a chip on his shoulder.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Streaking – Both teams are on winning streaks. Both teams have similar records, but in the West the Jets are 6 points out of a playoff spot and the Senators 5 points behind. This is a big game for both sides to keep the streaks going.
2. Montoya on Fire – Montoya has won the last three games for the Jets, and allowed just 1 goal in his last 140+ minutes.
3. Road Warriors – Ottawa is about to head on the road for 4 games over the next 10 days, so tired legs will not be an excuse with no back to back games. They would like to embark on that trip keeping their streak alive.