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Silver Nuggets: Senators host Canadiens; Rundblad might return to Sweden

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With Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson making their debut, the Ottawa Senators continue their pre-season schedule when they host the Montreal Canadiens tonight.

Here are today's links:

Tonight's game

  • The forward lines are: 1) Nikita Filatov - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler; 2) Milan Michalek - Stephane Da Costa - Daniel Alfredsson; 3) Mike Hoffman - Zack Smith - Erik Condra; 4) Derek Grant - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Andre Petersson. (Joy Lindsay)
  • The defensive pairings are: 1) Chris Phillips - Brian Lee; 2) Erik Karlsson - Mark Borowiecki; 3) Patrick Wiercioch - Filip Kuba. (Joy Lindsay)
  • Craig Anderson will play the whole game tonight and Robin Lehner will back him up. (Joy Lindsay)

General Sens News

  • The big story for me is that David Rundblad might return to Swedish club Skelleftea AIK. Tim Murray says that if Rundblad doesn't make the Ottawa roster, his preference is for Rundblad to play in the AHL, but Rundblad's contract allows him to return to Sweden if he chooses. This is pretty major news and I am not sure anyone thought this was a possibility. Rundblad sounds pretty discouraged from the last two games, pointing out that some plays he did in Sweden, he can never do here (Note: Mark did predict this). He hasn't ruled out playing in the AHL though to be fair, but simply wants to finish pre-season before making a decision. Rundblad thinks he is getting better every game, and he was definitely better against Boston than Toronto. (Press & Sun-Bulletin)
  • Daniel Alfredsson will play tonight for the first time since February 7. He will play a total of three pre-season games and won't play any back-to-back games. This rules him out tomorrow night in Montreal. I don't see him travelling to Newfoundland for Monday's game, so I would guess he plays tonight, Tuesday against Toronto and Thursday against Boston. (Ottawa Sun)
  • Jason Spezza likes Paul MacLean's practice style, focusing on skating and more skating. Spezza will play his first game of the season tonight, and I for one am super excited to see him. (Ottawa Citizen)
  • Members of Spezza's family allegedly told Dave Hodge that Spezza will end up playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sorry Uncle Joe, it's not happening. (Dave Hodge)
  • A pretty interesting article on Stephane Da Costa's journey to Ottawa. He moved to Texas as a 17 year old from Paris, France. After three weeks, being unable to speak English and homesick, he wanted to return home. He stuck around and now he has a pretty good chance of being an NHL regular this season. Also, while his English has improved a lot, he is looking forward to doing some French interviews. (Ottawa Citizen)
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau will also make his debut tonight, and it will be against his favourite team growing up, the Montreal Canadiens. Understandbly, he is very excited for tonight's game. While Pageau will return to his junior club afterwards, tonight's game is surely something he will remember. (Ottawa Senators)
  • Former Senator Chris Kelly and former AHL MVP Jason Spezza, both discuss their thoughts on Binghamton's Calder Cup title last season. (Press & Sun-Bulletin)
  • Jason Spezza feels Mika Zibanejad has a better chance to make the club as an 18-year old than he did himself. This is because Spezza thinks Zibanejad plays more of a two-way game than himself back in the day and also because Zibanejad isn't expected to put up as many points as Spezza was. (Ottawa Sun)
  • Zibanejad and David Rundblad will get tonight off, but they are expected to play the remaining games. (Bruce Garrioch)
  • Apparently a junior hockey team has priority over the Ottawa Senators. Tonight's game will be shown after the Ottawa 67s game on Rogers TV. It will be live on centre ice on Rogers channel 456 for those with digital cable and Bell Channel 435. (Ian Mendes)
  • Joy Lindsay doesn't think Nikita Filatov will live up to the negative reputation he might come with, commenting that he seems to be working hard and getting along with the players. (Joy Lindsay)
  • A post about predictions (and full of awesome jokes, seriously, I kept laughing) for the upcoming season. My favourites include: "Karlsson will be the little engine that could" and Karlsson being "our special little guy". Ha! Oh and Chris Phillips is expected to suck. (Cory Clouston Fashion Review)