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Game Day 5: Sens vs Bruins

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

We break down 5 key things to help get you ready for tonight's massive divisional game against the Boston Bruins.

1. Starting Goalies

Craig Anderson gets the call in goal again for the Sens tonight. Anderson has been phenomenal since returning to the club on February 11th (6-2-0) and is among the league leaders in wins, goals against average and save percentage over that span. More good news: he's also won 3 of his last 4 starts against the Bruins.

Tweet from @Senators: The coach also confirms that Craig Anderson will start in goal against the Bruins. pic.twitter.com/QjZCknFKSg

At the other end of the rink, it'll be Tuukka Rask for the Bruins. Rask is 30-15-4 on the season with his last appearance being a 2-1 loss to the Rangers last Thursday.

 

2. Projected line-up

A few things to keep an eye on leading up to tonight's game and we'll start with the coach announcing that Dion Phaneuf is under the weather and may not play against Boston. If he's unable to go look for Fredrik Claesson to slot back in and potentially alongside Erik Karlsson. One small switch at forward (if the line rushes from this morning are any indication) and that would see Ryan Dzingel and Mike Hoffman trade linemates.

Here's how the forwards and defence look:

Tweet from @Senators: If Dion Phaneuf (sick) can't play tonight against Boston, look for Fredrik Claesson to slot in on defence. Here's the projected line-up: pic.twitter.com/VFgEx3JciO

 

3. Previous meeting

Rewind back to November 24th, 2016 when the Sens rattled off 3 unanswered goals to send the Bruins away with a 3-1 loss. Mark Stone, Chris Wideman and Kyle Turris provided the offence for the Sens while Craig Anderson turned aside 19 of 20 to earn the decision.

Video: Senators score three unanswered to defeat the Bruins

 

4. From the coach

On how the home-stand has been so successful: 

It's because we didn't look at it as a home-stand, we looked at it as one game at a time. Today is Boston and that's it. People ask me about my goalies for the next game and Montreal Canadiens and the people behind us…I'll be honest with you, I really don't care. We've done well when we've focused on today, ourselves and the specific opponent we're playing against and that's been our success since day one so we don't want to change that. 


On the difference with having Burrows and Stalberg in the lineup:

It's huge because both of them can play on the penalty kill. Right now I'm not using Burrows there just because we've got Wingels and Stalberg that can play on the penalty kill. I'm spreading those roles now and that's what gives us the luxury in the third period - having the juice to be able to sustain what we do or overtake the opponent and so on which was tougher for us - either because of injuries or because the chemistry wasn't there on our fourth line for a very long time. So those guys being able to do all of these roles, it makes a gigantic difference in the energy level of everybody. As a matter of fast, I can see some of the top guys sitting on the bench going 'I'm used to more ice time than this' - and that's great because at this time of the year it's about energy. What's happening now is that with a guy like Burrows, because we didn't get a lot of power plays which I want him on, we didn't have to kill or extend him. He's new now, he's trying to figure out how things are working out so you get that today but then you might have five power plays tonight and he gets five more minutes. What I like now is that we seem to have a lot more tools in the tool box. 


On the change of the look on the power play:

It's not our look; the look hasn't been our issue. It's the quality of our shots, quality of our screens and the number of times we create secondary chances is very poor. 5 on 5 has been our issue since day one which we're getting much better at but until we have it on 5 on 5 you're not going to see it on the power play either. That's where we're fighting right now, we're battling that. It's about inside the dots. If you look at Toronto, they were the number one on the power play and everything is inside of those dots. Players get in there, they fight and they battle and we have to have that. Our quality shots have missed the net a lot and that kills the power play. So we have to hit the net more and get more secondary chances. In that respect, Burrows will help because he's really good around the net, he goes to the front and he pays the price. Once we get our shots on that net, that's going to help absolutely. 


On the chemistry between Claesson and Karlsson:

Claesson works well with Karlsson. Karlsson loves his Swedish buddies because he tries to help them. It's clear that when Claesson's in the lineup, he doesn't say it but he's looking at me like 'give him to me'. 

Video: March 6: Sens vs. Bruins - Boucher Pre-game

 

5. Broadcast

Things kick off at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Canadian Tire Centre. Can't make it to the game? Catch all the action on TSN5 and RDS.

Tweet from @Senators: It's a #Sens game day!The Bruins are in town for tonight's 7:30 p.m. start. TICKETS: https://t.co/7vnjwsJR9b pic.twitter.com/yd4eJuCTOh

 

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