The Buffalo Sabres are in town for tonight's game and we've got 5 things to help you get ready for puck drop...
1. Starting Goalies
Fresh off of being named the NHL's first star of the week yesterday, Craig Anderson finds himself right back in goal for tonight's game against the Sabres. Anderson has won his last 4 starts and was only beaten on 5 of te 165 shots he faced over that 7-day span. Andrew Hammond has also been recalled from Binghamton but it's expected that Mike Condon will fill the back-up roles against Buffalo.
It's a familiar face at the other end of the ice today for the Sabres, both because of his time spent in Ottawa and that he's faced the Sens twice already this season. Robin Lehner has been very good against his former squad this year going 1-0-1 with a 0.96 GAA and a .968 sv% in two starts.
2. Borowiecki talk
We spent some time catching up with Mark Borowiecki after the morning skate and talked about his huge hit totals, his defence partner and more...
On his team-leading 83 hits this season:
I take a lot of pride in being a hits leader and I try and do it every year. My wife and my dad told me that I'm second in the league so I'm pretty pumped about that, I just need to chase down Matt Martin. I take a lot of pride in being physically strong and being competitive and you have to play to your strengths out there. That's my strength. The coach has asked me a few times to make sure that I'm bringing that especially in our new neutral zone system the we play to make sure that I'm stepping up. I really enjoy it and I'm going to try to keep it going.
On developing chemistry alongside Chris Wideman:
He's got those natural offensive instincts that I don't have. I'm not going to be shy about it. He gets those looks up ice, he gets his shots through in the offensive zone and it seems like we work well together. We actually spent a lot of time together in the American League; up here we're both still young players. I'm not at 200 games and I don't know if he's at 100 so we're a fairly young pairing still and I think the more reps you get at this level the better.
On facing the Sabres for the third time this month:
I feel like I'm back in my American League days playing Hersey 10 times but we identified that at the beginning of the year. I think we play them 5 times this year as a division rival so they're always meaningful games against these guys. They're a young squad and they've got some talent up front so it's going to be a good challenge.
3. Projected line-up
If all goes well the Sens will ice the same line-up as last Sunday in New York. The coach has been cautious in confirming his active group and has mentioned on a few occasions that some of the forwards are a bit "banged up". Max McCormick and Fredrik Claesson are both around just in case and will take the warm-up tonight.
Here's how the lines and pairing are shaping up.
4. Previous meeting
It was a little under 3 weeks ago in Buffalo that these two teams last squared off with the Sens earning a 2-1 victory in the shootout. Ryan Dzingel provided the lone goal for Ottawa in regulation while Mike Condon was excellent making 31 saves including 8 in overtime and a pair in the tie-breaker.
Here are the full highlights of that game to refresh your memory...
Video: Ryan's shootout goal lifts Sens to 2-1 victory
Things kick off at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Canadian Tire Centre and you can catch the game on TSN5 and RDS2.