CANUCKS (7-4-5) at SENATORS (7-5-3)
TV: SNV, RDS, TSN5
OTTAWA -- Andrew Hammond will start in goal and rookie defenseman Chris Wideman will play in place of Patrick Wiercioch when the Ottawa Senators start a five-game homestand against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
Hammond, who is 1-0-2 this season with a 2.55 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, made 43 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
“I always thought it’s easier when you’re playing a little bit more,” Hammond said. “To get back in with not that many days’ rest, it’ll feel better and get some rhythm in my game, so I’m excited about it.”
Craig Anderson, who made 38 saves in the Senators 7-5 loss at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, is 5-11-2 with an .866 save percentage against the Canucks in his career.
The Senators are looking for some improved play on this homestand; they are 2-3-2 at home.
The Senators struggles in their own end continued against the Predators and led to the shakeup on defense.
Coach Dave Cameron said the Senators problems in their defensive zone are a result of playing too much of the game there.
The Senators are 28th in the NHL in shot attempts percentage at 46.09 percent.
“We don’t spend enough time in the offensive zone,” Cameron said. “We have to have better poise in the offensive zone. We have to do a better job of being above in the neutral zone to slow them down to give our ‘D’ the best chance to break out and then we have to win more 1-on-1 battles. It’s never one thing.”
Mark Borowiecki will move over to the left side and play with Wideman in the third pairing.
Wiercioch and Borowiecki were each minus-3 against Nashville.
“There’s was more than one ‘D’ in the discussion when it came to who was going to come out,” Cameron said. “When you’re in that discussion, it usually comes down to execution and confidence. I’ll leave it at that.”
The Canucks, who did not have a morning skate Thursday, are 1-1-1 so far on their seven-game road trip. They defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 on Tuesday as the line of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Jannik Hansen combined for 11 points (four goals, seven assists).
Backup Jacob Markstrom made 42 saves in his season debut.
Ryan Miller is expected to get the start in goal against the Senators.
Here are the projected lineups:
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Jannik Hansen
Alexandre Burrows – Brandon Sutter – Jake Virtanen
Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Radim Vrbata
Chris Higgins – Adam Cracknell – Derek Dorsett
Alexander Edler – Christopher Tanev
Dan Hamhuis – Yannick Weber
Ben Hutton – Matt Bartkowski
Injured: Luca Sbisa (undisclosed), Brandon Prust (ankle)
Scratched: Alex Biega, Jared McCann
Mike Hoffman – Kyle Turris – Mark Stone
Matt Puempel – Mika Zibanejad – Bobby Ryan
Milan Michalek – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Alex Chiasson
Curtis Lazar – Zack Smith – Chris Neil
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki – Chris Wideman
Injured: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion)
Scratched: Shane Prince, Patrick Wiercioch
Status report: Cameron said Phillips, who has not played this season after back surgery, has started skating, but no timetable has been set for his return … MacArthur has resumed working out. He was injured Oct. 14 and has missed 11 games … Virtanen is a game time decision … Daniel Sedin needs four points for 900 in his career.
Who's hot: Ryan has a goal and three assists in his past three games ... Zibanejad has three assists in his past three games … Daniel Sedin has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past 12 games … Hutton has three assists in his past three games.