If you've already become apathetic about these gamedays, I don't blame you. The Ottawa Senators have lost three in a row and now sit at 11-14-0 before they face off against the Vegas Golden Knights in Nevada tonight. This will be their third matchup of a five-game road trip, and they're looking to get their first victory. It would go a long way towards lifting fan spirits to pull out a win.
To say that the fanbase has been frustrated lately is an understatement, and it's going to take a long stretch of successful games to get the fans to believe in this team again. Every stretch of success has to start somewhere though, if you're looking for a positive. It'll be fascinating to see how long the Senators have to keep losing until changes are made though—it's difficult to know what is the best for them at this stage: winning to keep them alive or keep losing to enact change.
With a few injuries and call-ups, it's unclear what the lineup will be tonight, and we will let you know once that has been confirmed. If I had to take a stab at things, I would say it could be something like this:
This is what Vegas rolled out on Friday night, and it's unclear if any changes will be made:
#VegasBorn Line Rushes 🆚 #LetsGoBuffalo— Projected Lineups NHL (@ProjectedLineup) December 16, 2023
Barbashev - Eichel - Stone
Howden - Stephenson - Marchessault
Cotter - Karlsson - Amadio
Carrier - Roy - Kolesar
McNabb - Pietrangelo
Hague - Whitecloud
Hutton - Pachal
Puck drop is at 8:00 EST and can be seen on TSN5 and TVA Sports.
- Angus Crookshank and Jiri Smejkal have been called up for tonight's game due to Rourke Chartier and Mathieu Joseph being unavailable. This will be Smejkal's second stint of the season, although he only averaged 6:51 of ice time in two games. Crookshank will be making his NHL debut, and it'll be well deserved. He's posted 21 points in 24 games for Belleville this season, and last year he had 47 points in 71 games. It's been a long road for Crookshank after being drafted in 2018, but he's earned a shot. I just hope he gets an actual crack at showing what he can do because he's already 24 and the organization needs to know if he's someone worth keeping around.
- It's unclear if Vladimir Tarasenko will be available tonight as he is going through some family matters. I hope everything turns out okay and that he takes the time he needs.
- The Senators are a paltry 1-7-2 all-time against the Golden Knights, including eight straight losses, with the last win coming on March 2nd, 2018. Yikes.
- Captain Mark Stone has 6 points in 4 games vs. his former team, look for him to be a force again tonight.
- Can Joonas Korpisalo get back on track? He's allowed 4+ goals in five of his past six games. Anton Forsberg was not nearly good enough on Friday, but Korpisalo needs to be much better as well.
- Unrelated to the game, but Shane Pinto is now skating in Ottawa preparing for his first eligible game on January 21st. One more month until they can rely on him again.
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