After an impressive come from behind victory over the Washington Capitals last night, the Senators are right back at it tonight when they host the Montreal Canadiens.
Unfortunately for the Sens, they will again be without top centre Jason Spezza as he continues to nurse an undisclosed upper body injury. They do catch a bit of a break though as the Canadiens are expected to rest Carey Price tonight in favour of the back up Peter Budaj.
Even with Price getting the night off, the Habs can’t be taken lightly. They have won four straight wins have outscored the opposition 16-8 over that stretch.
Despite coming away with the two points last night, the Senators looked awful for large stretches of the game. The trio of O’Brien-Zibanejad-Condra was by far the best line for the Sens and not surprisingly, Zibanejad will be rewarded for his strong play. While MacLean wouldn’t tip his hand on the forward combinations, you can be sure we’ll see more of Zibanejad after his first star performance last night.
MacLean did say he’ll use a line of Michalek-Turris-Alfredsson at times though and it’s safe to assume Daugavins will draw in for Latendresse. Latendresse struggled last night and drew the ire of Chris Neil on the bench after a long shift in the second period. Too soon to say Latendresse is in the doghouse but he’s going to need to work hard to get back/stay in the lineup.
Because this morning's skate was optional, it's tricky to tell how the defence pairings will look. Wiercioch struggled at times last night so I wouldn't be surprised to see Benoit draw back in.
In goal, the Sens will go back to Craig Anderson. There was some talk about Ben Bishop possibly getting the nod in the back to back situation but with a division rival in town, MacLean will go back to his number one guy. I like the decision.
Tonight’s game will be broadcast on TSN which means an earlier than usual start time. Puck drops just after 7:00 PM.
GO SENS GO!
- The injury to Jason Spezza is obviously a huge concern for this team moving forward. The team would not provide an outlook on how long he’d be out and are still saying he will continue to be evaluated. There is plenty of speculation this may be a back issue for Spezza but no confirmation on that.