Fresh off of a gutsy road win over the New Jersey Devils, the Senators return home to take on John Tavares and the New York Islanders.
Both teams are coming off Monday afternoon affairs so the back to back games shouldn’t really be a factor. The Sens edged the Devils 2-1 in a shootout while the Islanders suffered the most lopsided shutout loss on home ice in franchise history, falling to the Flyers by a score of 7-0.
Until yesterday’s ugly loss, the Isles looked like they were starting to turn a corner. A shootout win over the Rangers and then a decisive 5-1 win over the Devils had them on the right track until yesterday’s afternoon debacle. John Tavares and Matt Moulson continue to carry the Islanders offence with 20 points and 17 points respectively. Those two have also combined to score 9 goals on the power play through the team’s first 15 games.
Tonight should have marked the return of former Senators tough guy Matt Carkner, but a groin injury will keep him out of the line up. He has yet to play in Ottawa since signing a 3 year/$4.5 million dollar deal with Islanders this off season.
Meanwhile on the Senators side of things, goal scoring remains a challenge with Spezza and Karlsson on the sidelines. Although to be fair, MacLean’s team still seems to be generating some quality chances but just haven’t had much in the way of “puck luck” the past few games.
Peter Regin looked like he was available to return but he’ll continue to sit out due a chest injury. The news on Milan Michalek is even worse, as his knee twist now has him considering surgery. Nothing confirmed but I’ve heard the “4-6 weeks” time frame tossed around. Just the type of season it’s been, I suppose.
A couple line up changes for the Senators heading into this one. Jim O’Brien and Mike Lundin are healthy scratches while Mika Zibanejad and Andre Benoit draw back in. Just an optional skate this morning so we'll have to wait until game time to see how MacLean lines them up.
Craig Anderson gets the start in the Ottawa goal while Rick DiPietro gets the nod for the Islanders. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:30 PM with the game available on Sportsnet and on the radio at The Team 1200.