The Ottawa Senators and the New York Islanders will wrap up the NHL preseason schedule with a pair of games tonight in Ottawa and Barrie. As expected, the Senators will ice a stronger team in the home game but there are also some NHL players heading to Barrie.
Here are the Senators lines for both games courtesy of Sylvain St-Laurent.
Michalek - Da Costa - Ryan
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Lazar
Dziurzynski - Pageau - Condra
Prince - Hobbs - Cowick
Methot - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Sdao - Gryba
And here is my complete guess for the lines in the Barrie game.
MacArthur - Turris - Conacher
Greening - Smith - Neil
Puempel - O'Brien- Stone
Kassian - Grant - Robinson
Cowen - Wiercioch
Borowiecki - Corvo
Wideman - Blood
Some notes for the two sets of games:
- Jason Spezza is still out with an injury. First it was just missing the game on Wednesday and claiming that he should be ready for Thursday. Now he's still not game ready on Sunday and the hope is to get him ready for the season opener on Friday. Let's hope this doesn't keep lingering all season, given this team's history with disclosing injuries. Remember when Craig Anderson was day-to-day last season? Spezza for his part says he will be ready for Friday. If he does play, it will be 15 days since his last game.
- With Jim O'Brien likely heading for the AHL, Stephane Da Costa will start the season in the NHL. Tonight he will once again play on the first line. Da Costa has done well so far, and it is possible he plays even if Spezza returns. The team really does seem high on him lately, although that is likely largely to build trade value.
Eric Gryba will return from injury tonight
and could be playing with his opening night partner. Joe Corvo hasn't been great and it is possible Gryba takes the last defensive spot.
- Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch will play together for the second time, and it will be the third game overall for Cowen. Hopefully he is ready to go for opening night.
- Both Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner are expected to play the full 60 minutes. No concerns in goals for Ottawa right from the start.
- All signs point to Zibanejad starting the season as the third line centre. This means Zack Smith is likely playing on left wing or a scratch if Ottawa wants to bring in Matt Kassian against Buffalo.
- Peter Regin and Matt Carkner will both play in Ottawa.