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Game 69: Ottawa Senators @ Vancouver Canucks

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Ottawa Senators
@ Vancouver Canucks

Saturday, Mar 13, 2010, 10:00 PM EST
General Motors Place

Silver Nuggets: Leclaire expected to start; NHL's biggest brawls

Complete Coverage >

Well, the last time this building saw hockey, it was kind of a big deal. No pressure, Canucks. This is the first home game for Vancouver since January 27th. They may be slightly excited to play tonight. Here's master psychologist Mike Fisher with some analysis:

"They’ll be ready to play. There’s no question they’ll be excited to be back home. We’re going to have to be ready and try to weather the storm early. We’re going to have to have a good start and a solid road game. There was a lot of excitement about the Olympics. Having Luongo back, and I’m sure they’ll do something for him for winning the gold medal, I’m sure the atmosphere in there is just going to be unreal. It should be a great game for them."

Meanwhile, Pascal Leclaire gets the start for Ottawa barring a last minute injury. I wish that was a joke. Is it the right choice, given Elliot's play on the road trip? Let's put it this way: If he wins, it's the right choice. Leclaire was strong in his last start against the Maple Leafs, but pulled less than seven minutes into his previous start against Carolina. Consistency will be key for him tonight.

Chris Kelly also returns to the lineup, which means Silver Sevens favorite Shean Donovan is scratched. You won't find a lot of support for this choice from Peter or me.

The Senators fired 63 shots at the Flames' net on Thursday, but only 33 actually made it to Kiprusoff. The remaining 30 were blocked. If the team plays a similar game tonight, we are in for a wild, entertaining affair. With Buffalo losing to Minnesota yesterday (with a game at Detroit this evening), this is a crucial game for Ottawa. The team has been ice cold since the Olympic break, so it's premature to talk about must-win games just yet. However, in the race for the division title, this is indeed a must-win game. I'm excited to see how the Senators respond.

As always, please join us in the comments section where we'll be enjoying the game!