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Game 42: Ottawa Senators @ Philadelphia Flyers

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Ottawa Senators
@ Philadelphia Flyers

Saturday, Jan 7, 2012, 1:00 PM EST
Wells Fargo Center

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On 18 October, the Ottawa Senators were routed 7-2 at home by the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the second time Ottawa had allowed 7 goals in less than a week and their record dropped to 1-5-0 and they had been outscored 30-15 in those six games. Since then, the Senators have gone 20-10-5 and even slightly outscored their opponents 108-104. This is a very different Ottawa team from the one that was blown away by Philadelphia in October and the standings show that.

Chris Phillips will return to the lineup today and given Craig Anderson's strong play, I will assume he starts. Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent.

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Daniel Alfredsson
Erik Condra - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno - Zack Smith - Bobby Butler
Kaspars Daugavins - Zenon Konopka - Chris Neil

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Sergei Gonchar
Jared Cowen - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

More after the jump. Don't forget it is an early start at 1:00 p.m., so splash your face with water and join us.

Things to watch today:

  • First period: In the last game against Philadelphia, Alex Auld was overwhelmed in the first period and the game was effectively over. The Senators have had that happen a few times this season, so hopefully it doesn't happen today.
  • Phillips returns: Chris Phillips will return from concussion and will play on the second pairing. Is this more of a case of wanting a veteran presence against the Flyers or a case of protecting Cowen because he is struggling a little bit recently?
  • Jagr injured: The Senators catch a bit of a break as Jaromir Jagr will not play due to injury. I guess this is technically not a thing to watch for today, but...whatever!
  • High scoring teams: Both of these teams have been successful because of their ability to score a lot of goals, and neither has been that good at preventing goals. Ottawa has been obviously much worse at preventing goals. Expect a high scoring game.
  • Balanced scoring: In the last game, Jason Spezza, Kyle Turris and Zack Smith scored. Those are the first, second and third line centres. Hard to shut down a team when the top three lines are all threats. Continuing that approach will be appreciated.
  • Will people remember game time?: With a 1:00 p.m. start, will I be alone in the game thread? Will I be sleeping?