The Sens kick off their 4-game road trip tonight against the Flyers and we've got 5 things you should probably know before the puck drops in in Philadelphia.
1. Starting Goalies
Craig Anderson (22-10-2) gets the call in net for the Sens tonight. Anderson is coming off a 3-1 loss to the Canadiens on Saturday in Montreal and is looking to avoid back-to-back losses for just the second time all season.
At the other end of the rink, Steve Mason (23-21-7) starts for the Flyers. Mason has been up and down all year but has won 3 of his last 4 starts with the most recent being a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
2. Line-up notes
So the coach passed along a few updates and here's what we know:
- Zack Smith (illness) didn't skate this morning and his status for tonight's game is still up in the air.
- Viktor Stalberg is nearing a return to the line-up but won't be available tonight.
- If Smith can't play, Jyrki Jokipakka will make his Sens debut and the team will go with 11 forwards and 7 defencemen.
3. Previous meeting
Rewinding back to December 1st, 2016 in Ottawa, the Flyers scored 40 seconds in to overtime to best the Sens 3-2. Mike Hoffman and Ryan Dzingel provided the scoring for Ottawa while Kyle Turris chipped in with a pair of assists in the loss.
Check out the full highlights from that game below...
Video: OTT Recap: Senators fall to Flyers in OT, 3-2
4. From the coach
On facing the Flyers tonight:
Well we know they've got some high end players that can really make plays out of nothing. We know they've got a really good power play. [Our] penalty kill wasn't doing well lately…that's one thing we focused on and we're sure that we can do better at because we've been good most of the year, just lately we haven't done as good of a job. So that will be a challenge for us. First of all, stay out of the box and do better on the penalty kill. If you give those guys some space, with their D's jumping into the zone entries then they're really going to hurt you. So we've got to make sure we don't give them space on their zone entries, that's for sure.
On Hoffman's game progression:
I'm probably the guy that has the best take on him because I coached him in junior. He's evolved in every way as a person and on the ice as on offensive guy that was more of a preliminary guy before with a great shot that gets more involved with the puck. But without the puck is where this year I would say he's really improved because we play him against the top players, he's able to show his speed on the back check and he's in the right places. That line has been terrific offense and defensive wise… the last month they've been our best line for sure and he's a part of that. I think the fact that he's developed a bit more on the offensive side with little less goals but more points. His playmaking inside the faceoff dots has really improved.
Video: March 28: Sens vs. Flyers - Boucher Pregame Media
Tonight's game kicks off at 7 p.m. from the Wells Fargo Center and it's another one of those TSN5 and RDS night's so tune in for literally the best Sens coverage available.