The Chicago Blackhawks are making their annual visit to Ottawa and we've got 5 Sens-centric things about tonight's game to help get you ready for puck drop.
1. Starting Goalies
Mike Condon (18-11-6) is set to start his second game in a row for the Sens tonight. Condon was brilliant in his last outing stopping 35 of 37 (including some absolutely theivery) in the team's overtime loss to the Lightning on Tuesday.
Not confirmed yet who goes for the Blackhawks but it's pretty likely that Corey Crawford (28-15-3) gets the nod. Crawford has been terrific in his last two starts turning aside of total of 82 of the 86 shots he faced to rack up a pair of wins against Montreal and Minnesota.
2. Projected line-up
No changes are expected to tonight's projected line-up which means that once again the Sens will be without Mark Stone, Mark Borowiecki and Chris Neil who are all dealing with injuries. Here's how the lines and pairings should look for tonight:
3. From the coach
On how important yesterday's practice was:
It's the first time we really had a normal practice in over two weeks. It's good to have specific things that we wanted to do. On a morning skate, you do a little bit but you tend not to focus too much on things that are heavy for the mind. So that was an opportunity yesterday. What happens is you keep your energy over time because you don't practice…but then the downside of it is you lose some of your habits and that's what we saw defensively last game. We didn't like the way we took the rushes and especially in the third period, it wasn't good at all. From talking with the players it was clear that we were trying to get that goal instead of being patient with the result. We pushed and pushed and pushed and that was the wrong attitude. We had gotten rid of that a while ago but as you now, when you're a little tired the natural and bad habits come back and that's what happened. Just a reloading in that respect and we need that for today.
On facing the Blackhawks tonight:
Tonight we're playing probably the standard in the league, what everybody is aspiring to become basically is a team that's a contender every year, that's consistent and that's what they are. They are the standard in the last ten years for sure so we know that it's going to take our very, very best to have a chance tonight.
On his defensive pairing against Kane:
We've used either Erik's pair of Dion's pair depending on who we're playing. Usually we like to choose speed against speed or size against size. So if you've got some bigger guys that are powerful, we've used Dion and Ceci because that's what they are. When you've got some shifty fast forwards, usually we've used Erik and Methot because they've got the quickness. So I think you can figure that out when you look at their lineup.
Video: March 16: Sens vs. Blackhawks - Boucher Pre-game
4. Previous Meeting
We're rewinding back to December 20th, 2016 when Dion Phaneuf popped the game-winner in the final 6 minutes to left the Sens past the Blackhawks 4-3. Bobby Ryan, Derick Brassard and Tom Pyatt also scored in the victory while Mike Condon made 23 saves to earn the decision.
Check out the full highlights from that game below...
Video: Senators hold on for 4-3 win over Blackhawks
5. At the game
We've got ourselves a 7:30 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre tonight but it's always a good idea to get to the building a little earlier on Throwback Thursday so you can take advantage of some retro pricing. That's right, $1 hot dogs and $1 small Coca-Colas before 7 p.m. so grab some change and get here before the warm-up tonight.
Also keep your head on a swivel when you're leavng the game as well as we'll be handing out the fifth poster in a 10-set series for our 25th anniversary celebrations. Tonight's poster depicts the 2007 run to the Stanley Cup Finals...
Can't make it to CTC tonight? Catch all the action on TSN5 and RDS.