The Sens kick off their home-and-home weekend series against the Canadiens tonight and we've got 5 things you should probably know before the puck drops.
1. Starting Goalies
The coach wouldn't fully commit on his starting goaltender tonight but it sounds like Mike Condon (18-12-6) is probable to get the call. Craig Anderson has been cleared to rejoin the active roster and the plan was for him to back up Condon this weekend but apparently his status has improved a lot hence why he could still be in the mix to play tonight against the Canadiens. Keep an eye on our twitter (@Senators) for the latest but I wouldn't expect a definitive answer until closer to warm-up.
Carey Price (31-17-5) will get the start for the Canadiens tonight. Price enters tonight's contest after losing his first game in nearly a month on Tuesday against Chicago but has had problems with the Senators in the past. In his last 7 starts against Ottawa, Price is 3-3-1 with save percentage of just .882 and a goals against average of 3.58.
2. Projected line-up
One potential change for tonight is it appears that Mark Borowiecki is set to return to active duty. Borowiecki was sidelined during the team's 3-game road trip and hasn't played since March 8th in Dallas. This likely means that Fredrik Claesson will draw out of the line-up. It also looks like the top two lines have been shuffled a little bit as Bobby Ryan skated along side Kyle Turris and Zack Smith at this morning's skate while Ryan Dzingel and Alex Burrows flanked Derick Brassard.
Here's how the lines and pairings look:
3. Previous meeting
The Sens are 2-0 against the Habs this season with their most recent win coming on November 22nd in Montreal. Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone each netted a goal and a pair of helpers in the victory while Craig Anderson was stellar, stopping 36 of 39 to earn the decision.
Check out the full highlights from that game below...
Video: Condensed Game: Senators @ Canadiens
4. From the coach
On his lineup changes for tonight's game against the Canadiens:
We're hoping Borowiecki is able to go. I talked to him, he wants to go but I haven't gone to see the medical staff so with my update from the medical staff I'll know later on. They're doing treatments also so we need to wait after the treatment and see. He's much better.
On his starting goaltender tonight:
We were planning Condon and what happened Thursday when we talked, at that point we knew he [Anderson] was getting better but after I talked to you guys I went to see the medical staff and he had treatment. Andy was getting much better so we waited at night for the doctors to confirm that he would be able to back up. Yesterday it got better so right now I have to go back and see but we're sticking to the plan. With Andy, I've said it since day one…the minute he tells me he's ready to go and he wants to go, he's going. There's no wonder, it's 100% he's going so is it in the next hour? Tomorrow? Tuesday? We planned for Tuesday so anything before is a bonus. We weren't expecting it and I'm still not expecting it. I'm going to see if he's gotten better again today. Every day there's an increment in his improvement and we'll see where that goes.
The importance of this weekend's games:
For me, they've been important since day one. Like I always say, it's always the game of the year for whatever reason. If it's a bottom end team, well you can't lose that one that's a huge game. If it's a top team, well that's a measuring stick. Every game is huge. Last game was Chicago and it was big because they're probably the standard in the league in the last ten years. The game before that it was Tampa, we had to keep those guys down, they were surging and so on. Now it's the Montreal Canadiens who've been good all year and they're at the top. It's the same urgency. The minute you lose that urgency for whatever reason, that's when you get away from your game and what you're supposed to do so we just need to keep the urgency this weekend that we've had. In the Chicago game we were terrific, we played great. We just had a really great goaltender against us and we were not very smart with our slashing penalties and it cost us. We have to be smarter that way.
Video: March 18: Sens vs. Canadiens - Boucher Pre-game
5. At the game
Looking for a spot to catch the game tonight? Well why not check out the Molson Canadian Puck Party at Hometown Sports on Bank Street. They're giving away great seats and a limo ride to an upcoming Sens game.
If you're planning to be at the game, it's Patrick Lalime bobblehead 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..
Stuck at home? Catch all the action tonight on Sportsnet and TVAS at 7 p.m.