The Sens are set to host the Flames tonight in their final game before the All-Star break and we've got 5 things to get you ready for puck drop.
1. Starting Goalies
Looks like it will be Mike Condon in goal once again for the Sens tonight marking his 15th straight start. Condon is coming off a 31-save shutout against the Capitals on Tuesday that improved his record on the season to 14-7-4. Another goalie returned to the ice for the morning skate as Andrew Hammond took part in his first on-ice session with the club since leaving December 18th's game against the Islanders with a high ankle sprain. No timetable on his potential return yet.
At the other end of the rink, former Senators Brian Elliott gets the nod in net for the Flames. Elliott has struggled this season (8-12-2) and has dropped his last 4 games including a 4-0 defeat to the Maple Leafs on Monday.
2. Line-up notes
So the line-up for tonight's game is still a little up in the air. Both Mike Hoffman and Mark Borowiecki took part in the morning skate today and are options to return but their status will probably come closer to game time. One thing we do know, newest Senator Tommy Wingels will make his debut tonight against the Flames. Wingels was acquired from San Jose on Tuesday.
3. From the coach
Sens head coach Guy Boucher met with the media this morning and touched on a variety of topics including the team's health, Craig Anderson's status and more...
On the team earning yesterday's day off:
I always tell them: "You give, I give back". Last game they all had a small and were looking at me saying "hey, you gave us a day off when we won" so...I gave back.
4. Phaneuf talk
We caught up with former Flames' first-round pick and current Senator blueliner Dion Phaneuf after today's morning skate to talk about facing a depleted Calgary team, welcoming a new teammate and more...
On facing a desperate Flames team tonight:
The way that we're approaching the game is that we're going to be playing a desperate team that is going to come out and really lay everything they have on the line. They've obviously not had the trip that they wanted and when you're going through a stretch like that you want to come out of it, especially before a break. In my opinion, I expect them to come out and really play a hard, hard game and it's going to be a challenge for us. We've got to do what we've been doing, we've got to continue to keep building our game and frustrating teams and playing as stingy as we can but I expect a real good push from their team tonight.
On helping Wingels get adjusted in Ottawa:
It's about making him feel as welcome as we can, it's about us welcoming him in to our room and accepting him. We're excited. We're really excited about having him. It's great when you're in a position where your team is adding players, it's a positive and we know that. He's a real good addition to our team and he's going to help us.
On the team's strong play recently:
With the parity in the league now, there's no easy games. Whether they've had a tough stretch or we've had a good stretch...it doesn't matter. It's a new game tonight. Every game is different, every game brings different challenges and every team brings different challenges. They've got a lot of skill and a lot of firepower up front. They've got some really creative guys and their backend skates extremely well and shoots the puck. Whether they've been struggling a bit it doesn't matter. Tonight they're going to push, they're going to bring everything they have and we have to do the same.
On wanted to go in to the break on a positive note:
It's such a condensed schedule and it's so tight that you're playing every other night. Whether we've won and been playing well or whether we've lost and not played well, I feel that we've found a way to just regroup and come back. Today's no different, we had yesterday off, we're getting our rest so it's about coming back and doing your job. I feel our team has responded in a really good way of coming back night after night. We went through that stretch where we lost 4 in a row and I think it was by 1 goal and we just continued to push. We felt that if we continue to keep building our game, which we have, we're going to get results. There are no easy nights, it's about coming back to work and doing the right thing and playing the right way. We're going to play a desperate team...it's going to be a challenge and those are fun.
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 second poster in a 10-set series for our 25th anniversary celebrations. Tonight's poster depicts Ron Tugnutt's iconic jump celebration after the Sens clinched their first playoffs berth in franchise history.
Can't make it to CTC tonight? Catch all the action on TSN5 and RDS2.