Game Preview: Ottawa at Detroit

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7:00 pm

TV: Rogers Sportsnet

RADIO: TEAM 1200

Opening Night has finally arrived as the Ottawa Senators begin the long trek back to respectability, opening up on the road against the  Detroit Red Wings.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for new Senators Head Coach Paul MacLean, as he will attempt to defeat his mentor, Mike Babcock, to open the seaaon.

It will be a young Senators squad that takes to the ice, as there will be two players making their NHL debuts (Rundblad & Zibanejad) and others who have only a couple games under their belts (Cowen, DaCosta).

Ottawa will be without Peter Regin, Jesse Winchester and Matt Carkner who will all miss at least this weekend with injuries.  Meanwhile, the Wings will be without former Senator Mike Commodore, although stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will be in the lineup after recovering from various ailments earlier in the week.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

RED WINGS:  F Johan Franzen – In the only meeting between the clubs last year, Franzen scored 5 times in Detroit’s 8-5 victory.  In his last 3 games vs Ottawa, the Mule has scored 8 goals.

SENATORS: F Daniel Alfredsson – The Captain is back for the first regular season game since February.  After hinting that this might be his final season in the NHL, it would be nice to see him playing at the level we (and he himself) expect to see #11 play.

3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY

1.  Craig Anderson – Will be a key to most games this season.  The netminder will be counted upon to make the saves he should make, and even contribute some magic on saves he shouldn’t make.  With a young defense in front of him, he will be counted on to bail them out of the inevitable mistakes.

2.  Contain the Mule – As noted earlier, Johan Franzen has become a Sens killer in recent years.  They must find a way to contain one of the top “in close” talents in the NHL

3.  Play the System – It will be interesting to see what system MacLean instills in the club from day one.  A good test right off the bat, against a coach and a team that much of that system will be based on.

Check back after the game for the recap and thoughts on the season opener.

**Don’t forget to buy your Tickets for SenShot’s Alfie Night in Ottawa on November 11th, 2011. Click here for more details**

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