With points in their last six games and the Eastern Conference playoffs suddenly within their grasp, the Ottawa Senators roll into Minnesota to take on Matt Cooke, Dany Heatley and the the lovable Minnesota Wild.
With a 25-18-5 record and 55 points, the Wild are one of the teams that have put together a pretty impressive first half yet find themselves on the bubble in the chase for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They currently hold the second wild card spot (appropriate, really) and have a four point cushion over the Phoenix Coyotes. Like the Senators, they too are coming off a win over the Nashville Predators.
They have also been ravaged by injuries lately and will be without a few of their best players in Mikko Koivu, Josh Harding and Zach Parise.
After a couple days off following a win over the Predators, it seems like the Senators will make a couple changes to the line up. Patrick Wiercioch will draw back in, taking the place of Joe Corvo. Matt Kassian returns while Jean Gabriel Pageau goes back to the press box. Here’s how MacLean has them lined up at the morning skate.
Robin Lehner gets the start in the Ottawa goal. This is Lehner’s first start since a 5-0 loss to the Bruins back on December 27th. Anderson started six straight since then and has picked up points in each of them. Safe to say this is a big start for Lehner.
Puck drop is scheduled for just after 8:00 PM with the game available on Sportsnet East.
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The Daily Chirp- Yesterday really was a fascinating day. In the morning, you had the news that Bryan Murray had signed an extension and that the goal for this organization was to win the Stanley Cup with him as GM. Murray made it clear the team was willing to move young players and that the focus was on adding another veteran forward to the current roster. Then in the afternoon, Sens Owner Eugene Melnyk hit the air waves, reiterated the Stanley Cup aspirations but stopped short when asked to commit to additional spending. Moving prospects is one thing but you can’t seriously compete with a cap floor roster. It just doesn’t work. What I did get from yesterday is that Murray has the go ahead to add a piece at the deadline and some hints dropped by both Murray and Melnyk suggest it could happen before the Olympic break. Interesting days ahead.