Game 45 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Colorado Avalanche


The Senators will look to continue their season high winning streak against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.

(19-18-7, 45 points) 6th Atlantic Division


(26-12-4, 56 points) 3rd Central Division

TV: Rogers Sportsnet; RADIO: TSN 1200


These two teams didn’t play last year due to the lockout, forcing teams to only play within their conference. The last time these two teams met, was October 13th, 2011, and it was not pretty. The Avalanche embarrassed the Senators in a 7-1 blowout. If you go further into the past, it isn’t any better. The last time the Senators beat the Avalanche was during the 05-06 season.


The Senators played the first of four consecutive games on the road Saturday night, in a 4-3 OT win over the Montreal Canadiens. The Avalanche are looking to bounce back after a 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday night.


Jason Spezza, OTT – The captain makes his return from injury in this game. Without him in the lineup, the Senators put together their highest winning streak of the season. It’ll be interesting to see if he can turn his season around with the now surging sens.

Matt Duchene, COL – He made team Canada for the Olympics, while guys like Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton, and Claude Giroux will be watching from home. You’ve got to be a pretty great player to beat those guys, and this guy is a great player.


If it Ain’t Broke… – Is Jason Spezza’s return to the lineup going to help this team? One look at the lines from Saturday’s game, and it’s obvious a couple of them are going to be taken apart. It looks like Spezza will be playing with Mark Stone and Zack Smith. This is good, and bad. It’s good that Stone won’t have to play with Kassian anymore. It’s bad because the Colin Greening-Smith-Erik Condra line was looking great. Though with the changes in practice, it looks like Jean-Gabriel Pageau has replaced Smith. The Greening-Pageau-Condra line was the Senators’ best line in their series against the Penguins last year, lets see if they can continue where they left off.

The Kassian Effect – With Spezza in the lineup, does this mean Kassian will be back to his role as the 13th forward? The Senators have a ridiculous record when he’s in the lineup, but there are few things that are more painful than seeing two solid players having to play on a line with him. Stone and Pageau are free, but who will be the next two victims?

Battle In Net – Craig Anderson has been fantastic lately. He’s even looked like Anderson from last year (excluding the second round of the playoffs), but Robin Lehner has been sitting on the bench for quite a while. What should the Senators do? The last time they were on a roll, Robin Lehner had won three straight games for them. Paul MacLean elected to put Craig Anderson in to change it up, instead of sticking with the hot Lehner. What happened after that? The Senators failed to win back to back games for almost two months. Will MacLean learn from his mistake, or make the same one this time around?


The Senators win their games by scoring a lot of goals. That may be a problem when facing a good defensive team like the Avalanche. Plus, when you add the fact that the Avalanche have only scored 3 less goals than the Senators all year, it makes them seem like an even tougher opponent.