After a disappointing 3-2 loss in the season opener against the Nashville Predators, the Ottawa Senators return to action tonight in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. Despite being outchanced 18-6 in 5-on-5 play, Paul MacLean will go with the same skaters tonight. Robin Lehner will get the start for the Senators while Ben Bishop will start for Tampa Bay.
Here are the lineups for both teams from Bruce Garrioch.
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Zibanejad - Chiasson
Smith - Legwand - Stone
Hoffman - Lazar - Neil
Cowen - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba
Palat - Stamkos - Callahan
Killorn - Filppula - Johnson
Morrow - Boyle - Connolly
Brown - Namestnikov - Kucherov
Hedman - Stralman
Carle - Sustr
Garrison - Gudas
Some notes for tonight:
- The Senators looked pretty bad on Thursday and it is only going to get tougher tonight. Tampa Bay is one of the contenders in the east and don't appear to have too many weaknesses.
- The defence looked like a disaster in Nashville and the forwards didn't create a whole lot either. They are going to need an improved performance in all areas to have a chance tonight.
- What is Paul MacLean's bizarre obsession with Chris Neil as an extra attacker late in the game? It is beyond explanation. Even the "need big guy to stand in front" is better served with Alex Chiasson.
- Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman has to be as good a first pairing as there is in the NHL doesn't it?
- Chris Phillips and Cody Ceci has to be as bad a second pairing as there is in the NHL doesn't it?
- If the Senators don't win tomorrow, you don't want to call the third game of the season a must-win but it would be such a buzz kill to be 0-3 for the home opener.
- Mike Hoffman was one of the few players I thought looked pretty good in limited ice time. He had a couple of good scoring chances and while he didn't get any shots on target, he did have six shot attempts.
- Erik Karlsson had a rather quiet game against the Predators. Playing with a partner that was a disaster couldn't have helped, but the Senators need their star play to carry them tonight.
- Robin Lehner is starting the second game of the season and it isn't a back-to-back. He may be the backup but it sounds like he has a chance to steal the #1 job with some strong play.
Here are some stats from last season for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com
|Goals||Kyle Turris||1||Victor Hedman||1|
|Assists||Clarke MacArthur||1||Valtteri Filppula||2|
|Points||Kyle Turris||1||Victor Hedman||2|
|Shots||Alex Chiasson||3||Tyler Johnson||4|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||28:17||Steven Stamkos||23:16|
|Corsi Close %||35.62%||27th||57.58%||11th|
|Fenwick Close %||35.00%||27th||57.14%||12th|