The Sens are on the road in Boston and we've got 5 things to help you get ready for tonight's potential playoff-clinching game against the Bruins.
1. Starting Goalies
The Sens will once again lean on Craig Anderson (23-11-4) tonight in goal. Anderson is fresh off a dazzling 2-0 victory on Tuesday against the Red Wings that saw him turn aside 24 shots to earn his 5th shutout of the season.
At the other end of the rink, it'll be Tuukka Rask (37-20-4) for the Bruins. After dropping 4 consecutive starts (including a 3-2 loss to the Sens on March 21st), Rask has rattled off 4 straight wins coming in to tonight's contest against Ottawa.
2. Projected line-up
Only one change is expected to tonight's line-up and it's a big one unfortunately. Sens captain Erik Karlsson, who returned from injury on Monday in Detroit, is back on the shelf and has been ruled out of action tonight. Cody Ceci joined the team on the trip and skated this morning but isn't expected to return from an injury he suffered on April 1st in Winnipeg. As a result, Jyrki Jokipakka will be inserted back into the line-up alongside Fredrik Claesson.
Here's how the lines and pairings look:
3. The clinch scenario
The Sens sit on the cusp of securing a playoff spot and can do so in two ways tonight...
- Secure at least one point against the Bruins. Any outcome that yields a point gets the Sens to (or over) 95 points and out of reach for the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Speaking of the Islanders and Lightning, should BOTH those team lose tonight the Sens would also lock down a spot in the post-season.
4. From the coach
An update on his roster for tonight's game:
We've got Anderson in net, Jokipakka is coming in for Karlsson and same forwards. Karlsson is day to day. Last time I said he wasn't going to be in for sure and then he showed up but I don't think that's happening today. Ceci is really getting better, he's getting closer. I'm not expecting him to play today, at best he'll be a game time decision but up until yesterday we weren't planning on playing him today. I'll see after he comes out and talk to the therapist but right now, we're thinking Jokipakka is in. Right now we're going with our lineup that won us the last game…obviously Erik's not there but with the forwards and the guys that played last game did a very good job so we're going to stick with that right now.
On how the team will play without Erik's absence:
Anybody losing their top player obviously leaves a gigantic hole. But we've had games without Erik, we were playing it tight and we got to play it the same way. Obviously we don't have the same breakout abilities, taking the rush abilities, the transition, offensive zone and all that on the power play, but I think as a team our game won't change. We're playing the same way. We're expecting our players to continue to buy in like they've bought in all year and have the consistency and our structure…so that doesn't change. It's been our strength all year so we have to bank on the possibility that we're good enough as a team to be able to give Boston the best game we can.
5. Where to watch
We've got ourselves a 7 p.m. start time in Boston tonight and you can catch all the action on TSN5 and RDS.