With a welcomed 18 day vacation of sorts on the horizon, the Ottawa Senators play their last game prior to the Olympic break this afternoon in Boston.
For Paul MacLean, the challenge will be to get one last quality effort from his team before they go their separate ways for the Olympic break. The Sens are coming off big wins over the Blues and Sabres but need to keep banking points in order to keep pace with the rest of the East. Ottawa and Columbus both have 63 points coming into Saturday’s action, just a single point behind the Red Wings for the final playoff spot.
Today marks the fourth and final meeting between the Sens and Bruins this season. Ottawa took two of the first three, including a 4-3 win back at the Canadian Tire Centre in late December. The Senators have struggled against the Bruins the past few seasons but have a chance to win the season series with a win this afternoon. And they’ll catch a bit of a break as the Bruins will be without their best player and Captain Zdeno Chara. The Bruins gave Chara a couple games off so that he could carry the flag for Slovakia during the opening ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics.
Yesterday, the Senators decided to send forward Stephane Da Costa back to Binghamton for the Olympic break. A tough decision considering how well Da Costa has played of late but probably in his best interests. Da Costa will benefit from the additional games during the break and will certainly be a welcomed addition to the BSens line up. With Da Costa out, Matt Kassian will draw in for the Senators this. No morning skate for the Sens but here’s how Ottawa is expected to line up.
Craig Anderson gets the start in the Ottawa goal. Chad Johnson is expected to get the nod for the Bruins. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 3:00 PM with the game available on CBC.