The Ottawa Senators continue a gruelling stretch this evening when they play host to the best team in the Western Conference, the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks are 9-1-1 through their first eleven games, including a 3-2 win over the Senators back on October 12 in San Jose. The Sharks have a league best +25 goal differential and have been chewing teams up in the early part of this season. They are coming off a 2-0 win last night in Montreal.
With a team as good as the Sharks, who were my preseason pick to make the Finals from the West by the way, there really is never a “good” time to play them but this might be as ideal as it gets for the Sens. Not only are the Sharks playing the second game of a back to back, with less than 24 hours between start times, but there are also featuring a goalie making his first start in the NHL. Alex Stalock is expected to get the nod for San Jose in what will be his first action of the season.
On the surface that seems like a good thing for the Sens but as Frederik Andersen showed us on Friday night, a goalie making his first start isn’t necessarily a good thing.
The Senators will make at least one change to their line up as Patrick Wiercioch is expected to draw back in on defence. He’ll take the place of Eric Gryba who followed up a solid performance in Detroit with his worst outing of the season against the Ducks.
(UPDATE 2:54 PM)- Without a morning skate, it’s not entirely clear how the Senators will line up. However it does sound as though Pageau will draw into the lineup while Clarke MacArthur misses this game due to injury. Here is how the Sens are expected to line up.
Craig Anderson will get the start in the Ottawa goal. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 5:00 PM and there are still some good tickets up for grabs. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday evening if you ask me.