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Senators expecting emotional pregame ceremony

by Chris Stevenson

DEVILS (3-2-2) at SENATORS (4-1-0)


OTTAWA -- As a player for the Ottawa Senators and a native of Canada's capital city, defenseman Mark Borowiecki is expecting the national anthem Saturday before the Senators play the New Jersey Devils at the Canadian Tire Centre to be especially powerful.

It will be the first NHL game here since Wednesday, when a gunman shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was part of a ceremonial guard at the National War Memorial. The gunman then stormed Parliament Hill, a short distance away, where he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with security forces.

The Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens are staging a coordinated pregame tribute to Cirillo; Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed Monday in what authorities have called a targeted hit-and-run in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; and the first responders in the incidents.

Borowiecki, who grew up just west of Canadian Tire Centre in Stittsville, Ontario, said he will have to deal with what he expected to be strong emotions as a Senators player and a native of Ottawa.

"I think it will be people taking a lot of pride in our country, that's for sure, and our city especially," Borowiecki said. "It's a pretty tight-knit community. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of patriotism.

"It's one of those situations where it's kind of tough to separate being a professional athlete but being a member of this community too. I think it's important to kind of reflect, don't take that moment for granted, but once it's done focus on the job that needs to be done."

Senators coach Paul MacLean said his team is looking forward to the chance to help with the recovery process and will be ready to deal with what should be an emotional pregame ceremony.

"I think that we'll be prepared for that," MacLean said. "I think it's going to be good for our team. I really think it's an opportunity for us to help with the healing process that has started here in the city. It started [Friday] with the [Canadian Football League's Ottawa] RedBlacks and all the other stuff that's going on with the tragedy. Now we get an opportunity to come in and help with that healing. I think that's good for our team and we're looking forward to it."

The game Wednesday between the Senators and Maple Leafs was postponed after the attack on Parliament Hill and rescheduled for Nov. 9.

The game Saturday will be the first in a week for the Senators.

MacLean said managing emotions in what is expected to be an intense atmosphere will be a challenge. He said the Senators' veteran players have been talking to their teammates about how to deal with the situation.

"Emotions sometimes get you overanxious and overeager to do things, and that's something we were talking about before the Toronto game was not being hyped up too much, don't be hyped up too much," MacLean said. "You want to use the emotion and be able to channel it in the right direction. Us being a younger team, that's something we're talking about and our veteran players are talking about, is we want to use the energy in the building but we don't want to overdo it either. Once they get out there it could just go. But at the same time we believe it's going to be very good for our team here [Saturday]."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer, a native of Dunnville, Ontario, said he welcomed the opportunity to be part of the ceremony Saturday.

"I'm glad we're going back. I'm excited," he said. "Being a Canadian you don't get an opportunity to get to experience something like that when you're over here, when something like that happens in your own country, a lot like the Americans when 9/11 happened, I'm sure. I'm glad that we're going to be there. It's a tragic event, and while I don't compare it to what happened here, the feelings I think of the population are similar. I think everyone is looking forward to moving past that."

The Devils coach visited the National War Memorial ???on Saturday.

“It was sad. The young man who got killed was from Hamilton," DeBoer said of Cirillo. "I grew up right around Hamilton. To see where it happened, it's tragic."

The Senators have won four games in a row.

The Devils have lost four games in row (0-2-2). They lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Dallas Stars on Friday and have lost their last 18 games decided by a shootout since defeating the Winnipeg Jets on March 10, 2013.

Here are the projected lineups:


Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Mike Cammalleri - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner

Ryane Clowe - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder

Tuomo Ruutu - Jacob Josefson - Stephen Gionta

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Andy Greene - Damon Severson

Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill

Cory Schneider

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: Adam Larsson

Injured: Martin Havlat (face), Jordin Tootoo (foot)


Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Bobby Ryan - Mika Zibanejad - Alex Chiasson

Milan Michalek - Zack Smith - Curtis Lazar

Mike Hoffman - David Legwand - Chris Neil

Chris Phillips - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Erik Condra

Injured: Marc Methot (back/hip)

Status report: Lehner will start in goal for the Senators, his third start of the season. MacLean said Anderson will start Sunday when the Senators play at the Chicago Blackhawks. ... Methot has been increasing the length of his skating workouts but MacLean said he would not accompany the team on the road trip to Chicago and the Columbus Blue Jackets. There will not be practice time, MacLean said, and Methot would be better served working out in Ottawa. … Josefson played his first game of the season Friday after Tootoo was placed on injured reserve.

Who's hot: Karlsson has a four-game point streak, during which he has two goals and two assists. ... The Senators have killed 10 of the opposition's 11 power plays in the past three games.

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