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Game Day Notes: Game #26 - Sens @ Wild

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

Here's all the pre-game news and notes you're going to need before today's 4 p.m. start against the Minnesota Wild.

Hitting the road

The Sens are kicking off their longest road trip of the season and will be racking up the mileage over the next 10 days. With games scheduled in 4 different time zones and TWO (2!) sets of back-to-backs, the Sens are looking at some of the positives that come along with a lengthy getaway.

"It's fun to head out with the guys on long trips like this," said Chris Tierney. "It's good team bonding time, especially with a younger team. It's a great opportunity to get to know the guys better but you definitely have to prepare mentally and physically for some grueling travel."

The mental side of the game is something goaltender Anders Nilsson knows all about and shared that while the trips can be a grind, it's important to stay focused on the next game and not to get ahead of yourself worrying about the number of days and games on any given road trip.

"I always approach it as one game at a time anyway," he said. "For me, it doesn't matter if you're playing one game on the road or five games on the road, you need to have the same approach all the time."

"The only thing that really changes is packing for the trip," Nilsson continued. "Some extra shirts and underwear and you should be all set."

 

Projected line-up

Some good news on the injury front as both Vladislav Namestnikov and Artem Anisimov will rejoin the Sens' line-up today in St. Paul. Namestnikov has missed the last 3 games after taking a big hit against the Canadiens last week while Anisimov has only played two games this month and today's contest will mark his first active duty in over 3 weeks.

It also looks like Tyler Ennis will be good to go today as well after getting a little banged up against the Bruins on Wednesday night and missing yesterday's practice as a result.

"We're going to see in warm-up but I'm 99% that he's going to play," said head coach D.J. Smith about Ennis' availability this afternoon.

Tweet from @Media_Sens: #Sens HC Smith has reiterated to media that Anders Nilsson will start in goal this afternoon @mnwild. Artem Anisimov and Vladislav Namestnikov will return to the lineup while J.C. Beaudin, Mikkel Boedker and Max Lajoie will sit out.

With no morning skate today thanks to the earlier start, here's how the lines and pairings looked at practice yesterday:

Tkachuk - L. Brown - Duclair 

Paul - Pageau - White

Namestnikov - Anisimov - C Brown

Chlapik - Tierney - Ennis

 

Chabot - Hainsey 

Borowiecki - Zaitsev 

Brannstrom - DeMelo 

 

In goal

Anders Nilsson (7-5-1) will make his second straight start for the Senators today after seeing his 3-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday against the Bruins. Nilsson has been excellent this month and currently holds a 6-2-0 record with a stellar .932 sv% in November.

Smith also announced yesterday that Craig Anderson has been placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss about a week after sustaining a minor injury in Monday's 1-0 loss to the Blue Jackets. Marcus Hogberg joined the Sens on the road for this trip and will back-up Nilsson today and could be in line for his first start of the season tomorrow in Calgary.

Tweet from @Senators: The coach confirms that Anders Nilsson will start in goal tomorrow against the Wild. pic.twitter.com/eDviG2mp2W

 

Previous meeting

These teams last met back on October 14th at Canadian Tire Centre where the Wild locked down a 2-0 road win. Anderson was great in goal for Ottawa stopping 33 of the 34 shots he faced while Anthony Duclair had a team-high 5 shots on goal in defeat.

"Well that was one of the games that we didn't have great legs. We played decent defensively, they didn't capitalize on their chances," said Smith about the loss. "They're one of the teams that outplayed us and they outplay a lot of teams. They don't score a ton but they're a big, strong team that doesn't give you much so we have to be prepared again for one of those games."

Full highlights from that game are below:

Video: OTT Recap: Anderson makes 33 saves in loss

 

Where to watch

It's a 4 p.m. start in St. Paul today and here's how you can watch all the action between the Sens and Wild...

BROADCAST: TSN5, RDS2

RADIO: TSN 120094,5 Unique FM

In need of a spot to catch this afternoon's game? Well if you can ditch work a little early, why not grab a crew and head to any of the Royal Oak's in the city where they'll be serving up Molson Canadian and half priced wings on all Senators game days.

 

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