It's been eight days since the Senators and Lightning last met. The Senators came out on top 2-1 in that game, a significant blow to the Lightning's chances of taking the division title from the Washington Capitals. Tampa and Pittsburgh are currently jostling for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, with the winner getting home ice advantage against the loser. Meanwhile, the Senators continue their quest to ruin fans' hopes of drafting Landeskog. A win tonight would pull them within three points of the New York Islanders for fourth-last.
Here's who I'll be watching:
- Curtis McElhinney: The man who spent one pregame skate with the Lightning this season will make his second-consecutive start. McElhinney has been excellent so far in his Ottawa career. Will he come crashing down to Earth and help the tank, or will he steal another game for the Senators?
- Francis Lessard: What will his penalty minute to ice time ratio be tonight? He's already 5th in penalty minutes on the team after only 14 games.
- Zack Smith: Will he finally stop taking dumb penalties? Probably not.
- Brian Lee and Filip Kuba: The only players on the roster with more than 14 games played and zero goals. Can either of them put one in the net and save themselves from being the defensive equivalent of Bill Muckalt? Probably not.
- Steven Stamkos: Remember when Stamkos was a 50 goals in 50 games candidate? He's been in a slump for a few months now with only 12 goals in 2011. To compare, Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders has six more than Stamkos so far this calendar year. Will Stamkos regain his scoring touch, or will the Lightning need to rely on everyone else on the roster?
- Teddy Purcell: The underrated Lightning forward has been on a tear recently with seven points in seven games. Fun fact: If he were on the Senators, his 47 points would be first in team scoring by six points.
- Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers: The two worst teams in the NHL go head-to-head right after the Senators game tonight. One of the two teams is guaranteed two points, and if Senators fans have their way it'll be a game that goes to overtime and gives both teams much-dreaded points.
As always, join us in the comments section for a lively debate about pretty much anything while occasionally discussing the game. If you've never participated, why not make tonight your first time? The more the merrier, as they say.