After a long break, the Ottawa Senators will finally return to action when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers. A week from today, the regular season will end and the Senators will finish with five games in eight days. After having played more games than most teams for the majority of the season, Ottawa actually has a game in hand on both Buffalo and Washington. Ottawa holds a two point lead, plus a game in hand, plus the tiebreaker on Buffalo. They have a similar lead on Washington, however, the Capitals hold the tiebreaker.
With the two point game as well as the extra games and the tiebreaker, today's game isn't a must win. But it would be nice to win anyway wouldn't it? Here are the lines from Nicolas St-Pierre.
Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Chris Neil - Jim O'Brien - Rob Klinkhammer
Kaspars Daugavins - Zack Smith - Erik Condra
Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Sergei Gonchar
Jared Cowen - Matt Carkner
Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld (sudoku)
More after the jump.
Here are some things to discuss:
- Return from long break: Ottawa hasn't played since Monday, but had exploded for 14 goals in the last two games. They also allowed eight goals in those games. How will the break impact the club?
- Final push: Ottawa can theoretically clinch a playoff spot this weekend should the Sabres lose in regulation to Toronto tonight and Ottawa wins both today as well as tomorrow's game against the Islanders, with at least one of the wins before the shootout.
- Chasing New Jersey: Ottawa may be six points back of New Jersey but should the Sens prevail and the Devils lose to Carolina in regulation, Ottawa will control its own destiny for passing New Jersey.
- Division title almost out of reach: Boston will clinch the division with a win and a Senators regulation loss.
- Second line: The Foligno-Turris-Alfredsson line was on fire before the break. Can they pick up where they left off?