Get set for tonight's 7 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre against the Blue Jackets with these 5 things...
1. Starting Goalies
Craig Anderson has been very solid since returning from personal leave on February 11th and he'll get the chance to keep the momentum going tonight against the Blue Jackets. Anderson is 5-2-0 in his last 7 starts with a goals against average of 1.72 and a save percentage of .948 over that same span.
No official word yet on who will start in goal for the Blue Jackets but the smart money is on Sergei Bobrovsky who has been very strong for Columbus all season. Bobrovsky is in the top 10 in the league for wins (33), GAA (2.13), sv% (.928), shutouts (4) and probably a bunch of other categories but I think you got the point. He's good.
2. Projected line-up
No changes to the game roster for tonight but after showing some chemistry last game, Mike Hoffman and Alex Burrows will play on a line together and flank Kyle Turris tonight. This shuffle has Zack Smith moving back to play with Derick Brassard and Mark Stone.
Here's how the lines and pairings look:
3. Previous meeting
It was a real track meet the last time these two clubs faced off as they combined for 15 goals in a 7-6 overtime win by the Blue Jackets. Both Zack Smith and Mike Hoffman had multi-goal games in defeat.
Check out the full highlights from that game below...
Video: OTT Recap: Smith has three-point night in Sens' loss
4. From the coach
On being comfortable with Mike Hoffman taking face-offs:
Yeah - you know the only place we just want to watch out for is the D-zone. That's where you throw Smith or Pageau there…lefty or righty, depending on the side or if they've played before. Just for now, then we'll see. Clearly we'll have the same third line and fourth line and I might mix it up during the game like I usually do.
On Burrows' story:
He wasn't a drafted kid, he just had to go east coast and battle his way up to the American league and then to the NHL - from the bottom of the lineup to the top line. He's got a terrific story, I think it's a very inspiring one for any kids that don't get drafted or don't get the high profile attention that some other guys get. Some other guys get the opposite, they get the high profile attention and they drop under pressure or they just can't adapt in the NHL at the pro-level. He's done the opposite so I think it just shows the kind of person he is. He comes in last game and doesn't know how we play really except from looking at video, a few clips and drawings on the drawing board. He comes in and honestly…systems his eyes perfect. He comes in with two goals…under pressure, first game with the team and first time he has to deal with systems that are different than what he's been used to the last twelve years. It's pretty impressive what he was able to do last game. Physically you saw, he blocked shots, screened the goaltender… he did everything we want our team to become.
On facing the Blue Jackets tonight:
I don't think there's going to be a letdown. There are 20 games left; this is crunch time so everybody knows how important every goal, every point and every period is. Having said that, we're playing a top-end team and the hardest working team in the NHL. If we want a chance to beat those guys, we have to outwork the hardest working team in the NHL. That's where it's at and that's what it were the first two games against them. The first game was a hard fight and a close battle and the second game went into overtime. You look at their last two games, they won 1-0 and the other they lost 1-0 in a shootout so these guys are tight and hardworking…their four lines are giving them offense, defense, reliability and they sustain it. That's why they're a hard team to beat because they're able to sustain that for sixty minutes because they have that hard quality depth throughout their lineup.
Video: Mar 4: Sens vs. Blue Jackets - Coach Pregame Media
5. Where to watch
Looking for a spot to catch the game tonight? Well why not check out the Molson Canadian Puck Party at Kelsey's in Orleans. They're giving away great seats and a limo ride to an upcoming Sens game.
If you're planning to be at the game, we want you to join us for a night of recognition for our local autism community and helping to bring acceptance to the condition. Each ticket includes a voucher for a commemorative Autism Awareness Night Stress Puck and provides a donation to the local autism organizations involved.
For more details please visit: ottawasenators.com/aware
It's also Erik Karlsson bobble head night! These limited edition bad boys will be handed out to the first 2,500 people through the gate. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. so you should aim to get here early if you want one because just like the real Erik Karlsson... they're going to go fast.
Stuck at home? No problemo at all as you can catch all the action on City at 7 p.m.