Game 3 Preview + Open Thread: Dallas Stars @ Ottawa Senators

Can Ottawa rebound on a short turnaround?

Well, the rematch last night was decidedly less fun for the Ottawa Senators than Thursday night’s affair against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team struggled to generate offense, especially outside of the first line, and just generally didn’t have the same jump as in the opener. Luckily the Sens will get a chance to turn things around in short order today with an afternoon affair against the Dallas Stars.

There was no morning skate with the Sens playing last night, so no line-up news to report. We would expect Filip Gustavsson to start with Anton Forsberg having played last night.

Game Notes:

  • The big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Brady Tkachuk will make his season debut. Coach DJ Smith has not been definitive in whether the presumptive captain will suit up or not, and as of this writing it really did seem like things could go either way. While last night’s game made it obvious that the Sens could use their leader, one has to assume they will be approaching the situation with an abundance of caution. It is, after all, just the third game of the year.
  • With no morning skate we are mostly left to speculate about other line-up changes, but it seems a pretty safe bet that Michael Del Zotto will make his season debut. If I was a betting man I’d say Victor Mete is the most likely to come out, but the Del Zotto/Nikita Zaitsev pairing didn’t exactly impress in the preseason so DJ’s choice could be a bit more complicated than it first appears.
  • One of the only Sens’ forwards to show much of anything last night was Tim Stützle, who through two regular season games has looked like a different player physically from his at time up and down rookie campaign. The young German is getting to the net much more easily so far in this early season, and just generally looks more settled. I’m expecting a breakout performance this year based on the early returns.
  • Smith threw the Sens’ lines in a blender towards the end of last night’s game as the team struggled to generate any offense. I expect the top line will stay together, but beyond that almost any configuration would seem possible.
  • On the Dallas side of things, they were in Boston last night where they fell 3-1 to the Bruins. Anthon Khubodin should start tonight after Braden Holtby made 37 saves in last night’s affair.
  • Miro Heiskanen is off to a hot start with two points in his first two games.
  • Puck drop is at 5 pm ET, and you can catch it on TSN5/TVAS/NHLN or listen on the radio on TSN1200/Unique FM 94,5/

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