The Ottawa Senators return home from their 4 game Western Canada road swing, still 4 points back in the playoff race.
CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
TV: TSN; RADIO: TSN1200
This is the 2nd and final meeting of the season between the clubs. Ottawa escaped Nashville with a 2-1 win on January 11th in their previous matchup.
Ottawa stopped the bleeding, at least temporarily, with a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets to end their road trip. Nashville completed a homestand with a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Pekka Rinne, NSH – This will be Rinne’s 4th start since returning from a scary infection that arose following hip surgery in October. He has lost each of his first 3 starts, but his save percentage in each game has improved, as have his goals allowed. He has a 1-3 record in 4 career games against the Senators.
Ales Hemsky, OTT – Hemsky will be making his home debut for the Senators after being acquired on Wednesday from the Oilers. He notched 3 assists in the win in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Bubble Teams – Ottawa remains 4 points behind with 4 teams to jump to get to the final wild card spot. Nashville is pretty much out of it, with a 10 point gap between themselves and the Dallas Stars, who currently hold that spot.
2. Must Win – Ottawa will not play again until Saturday, so they will have to watch and hope to get some help between now and then, with each team standing in their way playing at least 2 games in that span. An Ottawa loss will make the next few days that much more tense, and they might be out of touch by the time they play again.
3. Return of Fisher – Former Senators’ centre Mike Fisher makes his second return to Ottawa since the Feb 2010 deal that sent the fan favorite to Nashville in the Senators’ re-tooling of that spring.