(UPDATE 3:31 PM)- The Senators have wrapped up their morning skate in LA and the word is Jason Spezza will not be in the Ottawa line up. Spezza says he would prefer to play but the Coach has made the decision to rest him until he’s at 100%. That means Da Costa slides in on the top line. Change reflected in the line up below.
The Senators play their third straight game on the road tonight and the first of a four game West Coast swing.
Up first, the powerhouse Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are coming off a loss on home ice to the New York Rangers and have lost two of their first three games overall. You can expect a hungry and motivated team coming into tonight’s game.
The Kings were one of the league’s top teams last season and haven’t really made a whole lot of change heading into this season. They are a well coached group under Darryl Sutter and have one of the top goalies in the game in Jonathan Quick. They have a deep forward group including Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Justin Williams along with the always exciting Drew Doughty on the back end.
They’ll certainly be a handful for the Senators.
While there isn’t exactly a storied history between these two teams, Ottawa/LA games have produced two of the more memorable moments in Sens history including this dramatic come back win back in the Civic Centre days and this fight filled affair that included a goalie fight between Jani Hurme and Felix Potvin.
These same two teams will meet back in Ottawa on December 14th.
Jason Spezza was on the ice for practice yesterday but comments made by Paul MacLean afterwards seemed to suggest that Spezza was questionable for tonight’s game against the Kings. It’s clear that whatever is bugging Spezza (the Sens say groin), is something they are worried will linger throughout the season.
It’s important for MacLean and his staff that Spezza isn’t in and out of the line up throughout the season because of a lingering issue. With that said, I would be surprised if Spezza didn’t suit up in LA tonight. If he can’t go, Da Costa slides into that spot on the top line.
At practice yesterday, it seemed as though it would be Matt Kassian that dressed but that could change at the morning skate, which is scheduled for 2:30 PM or 11:30 AM Pacific time. Here is how the Sens were lined up yesterday
Michalek-Da Costa- Ryan
What we do know is Craig Anderson will start in the Ottawa goal. Expect Robin Lehner to make his first start of the season either in San Jose or Anaheim this weekend.
If you’re the early to bed type, might want to get in an afternoon nap today. Puck drop between the Senators and Kings will come shortly after 10:30 PM.