The Sens haven’t been able to string together consecutive wins all season, and are going to be in tough against a Carolina Hurricanes team eager to make up some ground after a slower than expected start to the season.
One player who might make a difference is first-line centre Colin White, who is expected to return to the lineup tonight after suiting up for the BSens yesterday for conditioning. D.J. Smith hasn’t spoken yet, but here’s what we’re expecting:
Paul - Pageau - Brown
Namestnikov - White - Ennis
Chlapik - Beaudin - Davidsson
Chabot - Zaitsev
Brannstrom - Hainsey
Borowiecki - DeMelo
The Canes are 9-6-1 — currently fourth in the tough Metropolitan division — after making a run to the conference finals in 2018-19. They made a noteworthy swap on defence, shipping out Justin Faulk for Jake Gardiner, and now feature James Reimer as their backup. Here’s how Rod Brind’amour’s group has been lining up recently:
Niederreiter - Staal - Teravainen
Dzingel - Wallmark - Necas
McGinn - Luostarinen - Gibbons
Slavin - Hamilton
Gardiner - Pesce
Edmunson - Van Riemsdyk
- Artem Anisimov tweaked his groin against the Kings and has been placed on the IR. Generally, D.J. Smith has seemed reluctant to mess with a winning lineup, so my guess is that Colin White will swap in for Anisimov as the third line centre.
- White had two points (both assists) in Belleville’s 4-3 loss to Syracuse last night. He played on a line with Vitaly Abramov and Drake Batherson, and they were the only group able to consistently generate offence shift after shift. As he’s in a back-to-back situation, don’t expect him to receive his normal minutes.
- The trio of Jonathan Davidsson, J.C. Beaudin, and Filip Chlapik all played under 10 minutes against the Kings. Davidsson only played 4:56. I know Smith should get a bit of leeway here, but if Guy Boucher was still head coach, there would be nonstop rants about how he doesn’t value young players. Let’s see how much they feature against a speedy, skilled Canes squad.
- P.S. Erik Brännström was also under 10 minutes.
- Logan Brown was back on the ice today practicing with the team in a non-contact jersey. With White back and Pageau hot, it’ll be interesting to see what the Sens do with Brown when he returns.
- This is the first time this season that Anders Nilsson is starting two games in a row. The Swede certainly deserves it — he’s played the better of the two netminders this season, and is the team’s de facto starter in 2020. With the Canes at the top of most shot metrics, he’s expecting a busy night as per usual.
- The Canes feature a couple of ex-Senators, including former 20-goal player Ryan Dzingel, and trade deadline castaway Brian Gibbons. Dzingel has 11 points (3G, 8A) in 16 games — good for sixth among Canes skaters — and is slotted in a modest third-line role with some powerplay time. Gibbons has no points in eight games, and has mainly seen fourth line duty.
- Other names of note? Leading goal scorer Erik Haula (from Vegas) has eight tallies, but is day-to-day with a knee injury after having surgery on it in the offseason. Joel Edmundson is also a new face, coming over from the St. Louis Blues to feature in bottom-pair minutes.
- The Canes have a wealth of young talent in Charlotte that just won a Calder Cup. Martin Necas and Warren Foegele made the jump last year and have stayed with the big club, but Morgan Geekie (!), Jake Bean, Julien Gauthier, and Janne Kuokkanen are names you should remember. Two of our former sons, Fredrik Claesson and Max McCormick, are currently playing for the Checkers.
- Andrei Svechnikov was taken two picks before Brady Tkachuk and is having a breakout year with 15 points in 16 games. You’ve all seen his incredible ‘Michigan’ goal, but it’s been impressive to see the diversity of tools he has at his disposal offensively. Playing with Sebastian Aho is certainly a plus.
- Game time is 7:00 PM EST, and you can catch the broadcast on TSN5 or RDS2.
|Goals||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||15||Oskar Lindblom||11|
|Assists||Thomas Chabot, Connor Brown||14||Travis Konecny||17|
|Points||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||21||Travis Konecny||27|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||107||Claude Giroux||95|
|Time On Ice||Thomas Chabot||25:10||Ivan Provorov||24:50|
|Penalty Kill %||82.1||14th||84.1||10th|
|Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)||48.39||23rd||51.97||7th|
|Fenwick % (5v5, SVA)||49.36||17th||50.78||11th|