The last time the Ottawa Senators played the Boston Bruins, the Senators were sitting eight points ahead of Boston. Since then, the Bruins have gone 16-2-1 while the Senators have gone 7-8-4, pushing Boston to a seven point lead over Ottawa.
Ottawa is currently sitting in 11th place but a win tonight will lift them to seventh. However, the Senators will be without Milan Michalek though Boston will likely be without Zdeno Chara. On an aesthetic note, Ottawa will wear its heritage jerseys tonight and Craig Anderson will debut his new mask that he will only wear with the heritage jerseys.
There was no practise today, but I am assuming Bobby Butler takes Michalek's place on the top line. Here are the lines, courtesy of TSN.
Talking points and statistics after the jump.
Here are my talking points:
- Limiting fatigue: The Senators are without their top two defencemen which means Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen will once again play a lot. Add in the fact that Ottawa played last night and things could get ugly. Karlsson has had a lot of long shifts out of necessity and that won't get any easier. I don't know how you limit ice time when you have to play both Matt Carkner and Brian Lee. Even Chris Phillips played over two minutes of power play time yesterday. Boston also played last night, so there is that.
- Butler returns: Replacing the NHL's leading goal scorer is a player who has scored in only one game this season. Bobby Butler will get another chance tonight, can he put one into the net tonight?
- Carkner's type of game: For those who have been waiting for Matt Carkner to return, this is exactly the kind of game Matt Carkner should excel at. Boston has a lot of players who drive to the net, will Carkner prove to be useful in stopping them?
- Spezza closing in on league leaders: While Jason Spezza's overall game has not been good recently, he's been racking up the points. Last night, he was pretty good without the errors. A big game tonight (3+ points) could lift him into the top 5 in the NHL in points.
- Boston should win easily: Yeah I am a real genius eh? Boston is second in goals scored per game, first in goals allowed. Ottawa is missing three important players. We should be routed on paper. Can we keep it respectable? This team has a habit of surprising.