Guess who is back? Peter Regin! Since his injury, the Senators have had to use a lot of patchwork solutions for second line centre, including Mika Zibanejad, Stéphane Da Costa and now Nick Foligno. Regin had a good start to the season with three points in five games and hadn't been on the ice for a single goal against. Foligno will continue to take face-offs tonight though. Oh and Matt Carkner is also back. So Sergei Gonchar out, Matt Carkner in. Oh my.
Here are the full lines courtesy of TSN, Nikita Filatov briefly practised on a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek this morning, but he won't play again tonight.
Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Kaspars Daugavins
Nick Foligno - Peter Regin - Daniel Alfredsson
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Colin Greening - Jesse Winchester - Bobby Butler
Jared Cowen - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Brian Lee
Matt Carkner - David Rundblad
Craig Anderson (starter)
Carkner had this great line on Magic Number Seven, his defensive partner, from Erin Nicks:
"Two skilled guys together, should be awesome. He'll probably hang back while I join the rush." - Matt Carkner on playing with David Rundblad
Talking points for tonight:
- Peter Regin on second line: This is a pleasant surprise and I will be interested in seeing how Regin fits in. He won't be taking face-offs, but Paul MacLean mentioned that the centre position can be interchangeable between Regin and Nick Foligno.
- Carkner also returns: Matt Carkner is the less glamorous return to the lineup, and his return is necessitated by the injury to Sergei Gonchar. Funny how a couple weeks ago I was thinking of too many defencemen, and suddenly we have both Brian Lee and Matt Carkner in the same game.
- Stopping the Canucks stars: The Senators played the Canucks pretty well in Vancouver but ended up losing 2-1 in overtime. That time they had both Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar though. The Canucks are playing a lot better these days and while the Senators a blew 3-0 lead, the Canucks came back from 3-0 down against the Canadiens.
- Inexperienced defence: Just to highlight how inexperienced the defence is tonight, Erik Karlsson has the second most NHL games, behind only Chris Phillips. Phillips has 974 games, Karlsson has 164, Brian Lee has 148, Matt Carkner has 133, Jared Cowen has 29 and David Rundblad has 20. On paper, the Canucks should rip Ottawa to shreds.
- Stay out of the box: While Ottawa's penalty kill has been very good lately, Vancouver has the #1 power play in the league at 25.8%. Staying out of penalty trouble will prove key, especially with so many defencemen out.