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Game Day 5: Sens vs Avalanche - Global Series Game #1

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

The Sens are in Stockholm set to face the Avalanche today at 2 p.m. and we've got an international edition of the Game Day 5 to get you ready for the first game of the NHL Global Series.

1. NHL Global Series kicks off

The Sens have a quartet of Swedes (Karlsson, Oduya, Claesson and Hogberg) on the trip to the NHL's Global Series in their home country with the biggest name undoubtably being their captain. Karlsson has represented his country at the Olympics, World Cup and World Championship (just to name a few) and is excited to bring a National Hockey League game to the fans in Sweden.

"I think it's going to do a lot of good," said Karlsson leading up to the Global Series. "It's going to give the Swedish fans an opportunity to watch the NHL game up close to see how good it actually is."

It's safe to say that a good portion of those fans will most likely be related to Sens defenceman Fredrik Claesson who was born and raised in Stockholm. For many of Claesson's family, this will be the first time that they'll be able to see him skate in an NHL game live and in person.

"It's going to be unreal. I get to see my family and friends and then play in front of them," said Claesson about playing in an NHL game in his hometown. "Some of my older relatives like my grandma and grandpa have never gotten to see me play so it's going to be great."

With all the distractions that go along with these large, international league event's, Sens head coach Guy Boucher has kept the message to his team simple: these games matter.

"We talked about having a business trip, not a vacation trip and our players have been great," Boucher said after yesterday's practice. "We lost our last game and we're aren't happy about that. We feel that our first period wasn't up to par so we want to start the right way."

You can catch the rest of the coach's media availability yesterday from Stockholm below...

Video: Nov 9: Coach Practice Media

 

2. Duchene szn

After being acquired in a blockbuster trade on Sunday, Matt Duchene will finally make his Senators debut today against his former team. While fans have had to patiently wait to get a look at the Sens' newest acquisition, the delay has provided Duchene with more time to get accustomed to his new club.

"I've had a good opportunity to bond with the guys and to get to know them," Duchene shared with the media in Stockholm this week. "The biggest thing this extra time has given me is to familiarize myself with the team on the ice and the systems."

Video: Nov 7: Duchene Practice Media

Duchene has been skating on a line with Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith and all indications are that that combo will remain together for today's game as well. While building chemistry takes time, Hoffman likes the look of the line already.

"He can skate the ice really well and he's great with the puck down low," said Hoffman of his new pivot. "Having Smith with us is a big addition too. They can work the puck down low and hopefully find me in the slot."

 

3. Catching up with Pageau

After practice yesterday, we caught up with centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau to chat about his time in Sweden so far, getting ready to face the Avalanche and more...

His thoughts on the trip so far:

It's been really good. Obviously, the first day was hard with the jet lag so we were all a little tired but the practice we had helped so it was good. I've had the chance to walk around a little bit in the city and people are really welcoming us here. It felt a little bit like we were at home. It's been really fun so far.


How he spent is day off in Stockholm:

We got to sleep in a little bit. The sun is going down here pretty early but about 10 of the guys went for a walk and did some shopping so that was pretty fun. Now it's going to be more about business because we have two big games coming up.


On how the team can be more consistent:

I think we just have to come here and not try to put on a show. These are big points up for grabs and we know how close things are in the standings. We've got a new player and have had a couple of practices to help him adjust. I've seen him talking with some of his new teammates and we're all just trying to help him and make him feel welcome. 


On improvements they can make to the penalty kill:

It's always the little details. It's something that we worked on again at practice this week because it's something that we want to be really good at. We know how big it is to have good special teams so we're going to keep working on it and I believe in all the guys on our penalty kill.

Instagram from @senators: Friends don't let friends skip leg day.

 

4. Previous meeting

These teams last faced off way back on March 11th, 2017 with the Sens leaving Denver with a 4-2 win. Ottawa rattled off 4 consecutive goals over the span of about 20 minutes that saw Mike Hoffman and Alex Burrows each notch a goal and an assist in the victory. Craig Anderson only faced 16 shots from the Avalanche to pick up the decision and pass Patrick Lalime for most wins in Senators history.

You can check out the full highlights from that game below...

Video: Anderson sets franchise record in Senators' 4-2 win

 

5. Where to watch

We've got ourselves an early start time today so heads up because puck drop is set for a little after 2 p.m. and you can catch the game on TSN5 and RDS.

Tweet from @Senators: It's a #Sens game day! Puck drops at 2 p.m. ET as newly acquired Matt Duchene and the Sens are in Sweden to take on the Avalanche! pic.twitter.com/eat18GkFiS

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