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Game Day 5: Sens @ Stars

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

With the Sens kicking off a 3-game road trip tonight against the Stars, we break down key 5 things before the puck drops in Dallas.

1. Starting Goalies

Craig Anderson gets the start once again for the Sens tonight as he hunts for his fourth straight win. Anderson is 7-2-0 over the past month with a ridiculous .944 save percentage and a 1.78 goals against average. The Sens netminder is also 4-2-1 lifetime against Dallas.

Tweet from @Senators: ICYMI: Craig Anderson (19-8-1) gets the start in goal tonight against the Stars. pic.twitter.com/VxRHJuImEq

At the other end of the rink, it looks like Kari Lehtonen will get the nod for the Stars. Lehtonen got off to a brutal start this season losing 6 of his first 7 games but has turned it around dramatically rattling off a 4-1-0 record since February 18th.

 

2. Previous meeting

These two teams squared off a little under a month ago in Ottawa with the Sens earning a 3-2 victory. After squandering a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, Mark Stone sealed the win with a beauty in the third period while Mike Condon picked up the decision stopping 31 of the 33 shots he faced.

Check out the full highlights from that game below...

Video: Stone, Senators top Stars, 3-2

 

3. Line-up notes

No projected line-up today because of now there's not much to project. Here's what we know: Kyle Turris won't play tonight and could sit out the entirety of the road trip with a finger injury. That leaves two possibilities for tonight's game in Dallas which sees either Chris DiDomenico make his NHL debut or the Sens could roll with 7 defencemen and Fredrik Claesson checks in. Stay tuned for more as we get closer to puck drop.

Tweet from @Media_Sens: #Sens HC Boucher has informed media that @CraigAnderson41 will start while @kyleturris will miss tonight's game in Dallas. Lineup is TBD.

 

4. From the coach

On the injury update of Turris:

He's not playing. It's the same nagging stuff as before but now it [finger] needs time to heal. It's highly likely he'll be out for both games...maybe the whole trip so we'll see.

On line-up changes:

We've got to go back and decide now if DiDomenico is playing or if we're going with seven defensemen. I've got to sit down with Crow to talk about our defense… there's a few guys sick so that's why. A few guys banged up and a few guys sick so I need to talk to Jerry to see where some guys are and talk to Karlsson with defensemen situation. 

On being comfortable with bringing in DiDomenico:

Yeah, at some point we knew we'd get him in there so whether it's early or later, we knew at some point we'd need him. So it might be today or it might be tomorrow.
He's a high hockey-sense guy, with terrific vision - look left, pass right, he's an outstanding power play guy and all that. In terms of the hockey part and the think of the game, that's not going to be an issue because he's used to the high-end part of that. I think it's the physicality, the size in players and the defensive side of the game…that's what he's working on right now. The rest I'm 100% sure of what he is, but that is just an adjustment and that's where he's going to have to prove that he's able to do that right now or it's going to be later. What I mean by physical, I don't mean that he's scared to go. He's feisty, he's one of those guys and he's annoying on the ice…he's very verbal let's say. He's got a side that the opponent really hates, so I'm not worried about that. It's just the physical side in terms of the size of the players, the reach and all of that. He's probably going to have to get used to small ice surface with bigger players in compared to what he was dealing with in Europe. That's him having to live it and see how he adjusts to it. So throw the guy in the water and he's got to swim. 
He wasn't playing on a very top team [in Europe]; he was playing on a team almost by himself down there. I've seen him totally dominate - just the load on the ice and doing it all so I know what he's capable of doing. This guy was on the top two lines at the under 20 when I coached him in Ottawa. If you look at the names that were there in the top six, it was Tavares and Eberle and those guys… he was right up there with those guys. That's a guy that just had a stall in his development because he broke his leg at a place where it takes too long. He was in a wheelchair for a long, long time and when it was his moment to do his thing in the AHL, he wasn't able to do it. So it's a long road back but one thing's for sure - he's always had the makings of an NHL player. So now it's a question of where he's at in catching up to that and again that physical part. The defensive side of the game is different here than it is down there and he was asked to score goals and create space and all of that. So it's a different approach where in the NHL you have to be a two-way guy so that's where his adjustment is going to be for him.

Video: March 8: Sens vs. Stars - Boucher Pregame

 

5. Broadcast

It's a bit of a later start tonight in Dallas with puck drop set for 8 p.m. Looking for a spot to watch the game? Check out tonight's Molson Puck Party at Oliver's Pub:

Tweet from @Senators: Tonight's Molson Canadian Puck Party is at Oliver's Pub on Colonel By! Giving away great seats and an sweet ride to an upcoming #Sens game!

 You can also catch all the action on Sportsnet 360 and RDS.

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