Game 80: Carolina Hurricanes @ Ottawa Senators

It's the second last home game of the season, a playoff spot has been clinched, but there are still some meaningful points on the line. Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson will return to the lineup, but Sergei Gonchar will sit out with a minor injury. Here are the lines from TSN.

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins - Jim O'Brien - Jesse Winchester

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Matt Gilroy
Jared Cowen - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld (sudoku)

More after the jump.

Here are some things to discuss for tonight:

  • Crowd reaction: This is the first home game after the Senators clinched a playoff spot. Hope to see the guys get a nice applause at the start.
  • Team reaction: Sixth place is still possible if Ottawa gets some help. For the help to mean anything, the Senators have to likely win out. A let down against Carolina would kill that. A point tonight would officially eliminate the Rangers as a possible first round opponent. Exactly one point for Ottawa coupled with two points for New Jersey would make an Ottawa/Boston first round match-up official.
  • Spezza and Alfredsson return: Although Kyle Turris and Milan Michalek had a great game on the first line, they have been split up and returned to their usual partners. It's good to know another combination can work though if needed.
  • Karlsson's records: If Karlsson is going to break Lidstrom's record for points by a defenceman, tonight is his best chance. He needs three points to tie Lidstrom and four to pass him. He's still also searching for the single goal that would break the club record for goals by a defenceman. He has now failed to score a goal for eight straight games.
  • Devils/Islanders game: This one is obviously important to Ottawa.

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