Game Day 5

1. The set up:

The Senators have been off the ice for a few days now but now it's the series finale between the Sens and the Ducks. The last time these two saw each other the Ducks came into Canadian Tire Centre and left with a big 5-1 victory. The Senators will look to return the favour tonight.

The Senators are riding a four-game losing skid right now and will look to use the motivation from the loss Anaheim dealt them a few weeks ago to get back on track for the first night of a back-to-back. With Brady Tkachuk expected to be back in the line-up, expect a hearty effort from the Sens captain as they look to stay alive in the playoff race.

The Ducks have been a relative force to be reckoned with recently. With wins over the Devils and Sharks and holding the Canucks to just two goals in their last outing, this group cannot be taken lightly. With Frank Vatrano on pace for a 40-goal season, a key for success tonight for the Sens will be slowing him down.

Both sides will be coming into this contest with major roster changes happening today. The Senators traded Vladimir Tarasenko to the Florida Panthers in return for a conditional 2024 fourth round draft pick and a 2025 third round draft pick. The Ducks have traded Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick to the Edmonton Oilers in return for draft capital as well.

2. Roster report:

After being without Brady Tkachuk, Joonas Korpisalo, and Anton Forsberg in Philadelphia, all three will be available tonight in Anaheim. The Senators traded forward Vladimir Tarasenko to the Florida Panthers this afternoon in exchange for a pair of draft picks so there will be some re-alignment in their lines today. The Senators have recalled Rourke Chartier and Matthew Highmore from Belleville in the past two days so they will have a full slate of forwards at their disposal.

3. Who to watch:

With six points in his last six games including a four-game goal streak in the middle, Drake Batherson has been playing some of his best hockey of the season lately.

ARI@OTT: Batherson scores goal against Karel Vejmelka

With 21 goals and 24 assists in 59 games Batherson is in the midst of a career season. One goal shy of his career best 22 set last season, and on pace for 63 points to just sneak past his career mark of 62 points set last season. Look for Batherson to add to his tallies here tonight as the Senators will be leaning on their weapons a little bit more in the absence of Tarasenko.

4. Tarasenko trade:

The Senators announced this afternoon that they have traded veteran forward Vladimir Tarasenko to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a conditional 2024 fourth-round draft pick and a 2025 third-round draft pick.

With Tarasenko on an expiring contract it was widely speculated that the Sens may try to move him in order to not have him walk for nothing this offseason. With Tarasenko's no trade clause, the veteran forward had to sign off on any move that the organization entertained and with ties to South Florida, it made sense for Steve Staios to see what the Panthers were offering for Tarasenko. 

Tarasenko was a valuable piece for the Senators tallying 47 points in 59 games and filling whatever role the team asked of him. Though is production was great, his true value was the valuable voice he provided on the ice and in the locker room helping this young Senators core mature over the course of the season. That is something that leaves a lasting mark and though his tenure was brief, the Senators are surely better off for the time that they got alongside Tarasenko.

However, such is the nature of the game that the Senators need to think long term and getting any assets for Tarasenko was vastly better than risking losing him for nothing. Look for the Senators to address that veteran role either prior to the trade deadline or in the offseason.

5. Where to watch:

Tonight's game can be found live on TSN5 in English and TVAS in French. Additionally, TSN1200 and Unique FM 94,5 have you covered on the radio with the English and French calls.