The Sens close out March in Minneapolis tonight and we've got 5 things to help get you ready for puck drop against the Wild.
1. Starting Goalies
Craig Anderson (22-10-3) gets the call in net for the Senators for the third consecutive time. Anderson has dropped his last two starts but was very solid on Tuesday against the Flyers stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced.
At the other end of the rink, Alex Stalock (0-0-0) makes his NHL debut for the Wild. Stalock has been very good in the AHL this season and has earned a call-up to the big club now that they've locked down a playoff spot.
2. Line-up notes
Injuries continue to be the story when it comes to the roster and we've got a pair of players changing places tonight in Minnesota...
- Viktor Stalberg, who missed the past 2 games with an injury, is set to return against the Wild but unfortunately it's for Alex Burrows who's now on the shelf with an upper body injury.
- Erik Karlsson is also listed as a game-time decision after missing the bulk of the finish in Philadelphia as well as this morning's skate.
- As a result of Karlsson's status, today might be the day that Jyrki Jokipakka makes his debut for the Sens.
3. Previous meeting
We're heading all the way back to November 13th, 2016 when the Sens and Wild needed about 64 minutes to settle things at Canadian Tire Centre. In the end, Minnesota left with a 2-1 overtme win but this game was a goaltending battle from start to finish with the pair of Craig Anderson and Darcy Kuemper combining for 75 saves and just 3 goals against between them. Kyle Turris had the lone Sens goal in defeat.
Here are the full highlights from that game:
Video: OTT Recap: Senators cannot capitalize against Wild
4. From the coach
An update on his lineup tonight:
Anderson is in net. We're going to have to see after warmup if Karlsson (lower body) is in. Burrows is out with an upper body (day to day). If Karlsson's not in Jokipakka is inand Stalberg is back.
On Karlsson's possibility of playing tonight:
I don't know. I have to go back and see. They told me that it will really be a game time decision. We'll play the same way. We're not going to start coming up with new ways to play because Erik isn't there. We've had good players miss all year and we were able to pull through so we're going to have to pull through this one.
On the team's win/loss record lately:
It depends how you look at it. This is our last game for the month of March. If you look at the month of March and you take out the three Montreal games where we were 0-2-1…we're 8-1-2. We all know that last game we could have won definitely so we would be 9-1-1, if you don't count the Montreal games. I don't think we're going to change anything. Montreal did a good job against us and we didn't do enough to beat them but I think we've proven that against everybody else we've done a really good job. The only game that we lost in regulation was against Chicago and that one we played really well…that penalty hurt us at the end there. I think as a group we've got to definitely stick to what we do, stay confident and make sure that we execute the habits that have given us success.
On the importance of scoring the first goal:
We've had a terrific record all year when we get the first goal but we've won many, many games when we don't score the first goal. For me, it's more about the 60 minute consistency than it is about the first goal.
Game time is set for 8 p.m. tonight in Minnesota and you can catch all the action on TSN5 and RDS.