Get set for the Sens' last game before the holiday break with a look at the projected line-up, goalie of choice and more prior to tonight's 7:30 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre against the Buffalo Sabres.
We almost had a nice, little positive update to provide for tonight's game as Scott Sabourin was expected to return after nearly two months but the Sens' winger has come down with a case of the flu. With Sabourin unable to go this evening, the Sens will roll with the same line-up as Saturday's shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
"We thought Scott Sabourin was going to play but he's got the flu," said Sens head coach D.J. Smith this morning. "It's unfortunate and he can't play tonight so it'll be the same line-up."
The Sens are also hoping to get some injury relief on the blueline following a few days off over Christmas as they will once again be without regulars Dylan DeMelo, Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey on defence against Buffalo tonight. Smith has had to rely even more on his healthy, veteran defencemen over the past three games which has resulted in Thomas Chabot's ice-time sky-rocketing to an average of 35:09 over that span.
"I think if we're healthy, he's playing 24 minutes," the coach said about Chabot's ideal usage. "We're going to do what we have to do to get to the break here and hopefully get some guys back soon."
Video: OTT vs. BUF | Coach Pre-game Media
Here's a look at the projected forward lines and defence pairings tonight:
Tkachuk - Pageau - C. Brown
Namestnikov - Anisimov - Ennis
Paul - Tierney - Duclair
L. Brown - Beaudin - White
Chabot - Goloubef
Borowiecki - Brannstrom
Lajoie - Englund
Craig Anderson (5-8-0) is back between the pipes for the Senators tonight for the first time since December 7th following his recovery from a lower-body injury. Despite Jack Eichel going off for 4 goals in their last meeting, Anderson was solid in the Sens' 4-2 loss to the Sabres in Buffalo last month stopping 28 of the 31 shots he faced.
With Anders Nilsson sidelined with an injury, Marcus Hogberg is on back-up duty tonight.
If you're coming to the game tonight here's a quick fashion advisory as the Sens will sport their NHL 100 Classic jerseys against the Sabres. The Sens have previously worn their alternates against the Wild and Bruins this season and here's a look at the rest of the games that they're expected to don them this year:
- Jan. 14th vs. Chicago
- Jan. 27th vs. New Jersey
- Feb. 4th vs. Anaheim
- Feb. 18th vs. Buffalo
- Mar. 24th vs. Florida
Where to watch
It's a 7:30 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre and here's all the ways you can catch the Sens and Sabres tonight...
BROADCAST: TSN5, RDS2
RADIO: TSN 1200, 94,5 Unique FM
Can't make it to the rink tonight? Then grab some friends and head on out to Hometown Sports Grill (1525 Bank St.) where they'll be serving up tall cans of Molson Canadian for just $6 (plus tax).
To find out where our next watch party will be and specials you can enjoy, visit the full schedule click here.