Game 78: Carolina Hurricanes @ Ottawa Senators

Ah, the Carolina Hurricanes. One of those teams that should have been eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, but are fortunate enough to play in the Eastern Conference and so still have a very thin thread of playoff hopes that their fans are clinging on to. Carolina currently leads the season series between these two teams 2-1, so Ottawa needs a win here to tie that up and save face.

The big stories in tonight's game?

  1. If the Senators win the game or even lose it in OT they will have clinched a playoff spot. All they need is to come out with a single point to taste that sweet, sweet post-season action.
  2. Matt Cullen faces his old team, as does former fan-favourite Senator Alex Picard.
  3. Jason Spezza is one assist away from #300 in his NHL career.
  4. Recent college signing Bobby Butler makes his Ottawa Senators debut.

I feel like #4 needs a bit of a caveat -- don't expect too much from Butler tonight. He has not played an NHL exhibition game. He has not played an AHL game. He has only had two or three NHL practices to learn the team's system. He will be playing on the fourth line with Jesse Winchester and Nick Foligno. The kid is not going to light it up and get goals. It will be considered a success if he keeps up with the pace and doesn't do anything that results in a goal against.

As always, join in on the fun in the comments before and after the puck drops!

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