We've got the latest on the Sens' projected line-up and goalie of choice against the Golden Knights plus more pre-game news and notes before tonight's 7:30 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre.
Just one change to tonight's line-up from Tuesday's game against the Blackhawks and that will see Scott Sabourin return to action for the first time in two weeks. With Sabourin checking back in, Sens head coach D.J. Smith shared that Rudolfs Balcers would be a healthy scratch to make room.
"It wasn't anything in particular that he didn't do," said Smith on the decision to sit Balcers tonight. "With Sabourin coming in on the right side, a right winger essentially has to come out. If something happened where someone was sick or whatever then Balcers would be right back in there so I don't think it's play-driven. We're playing a big, strong team that forechecks and we need to put some of our bigger guys in and Sabourin is that."
No changes expected on defence after the Sens saw the returns of both Mark Borowiecki and Nikita Zaitsev on Tuesday and Smith praised the group for their strong play in defeat.
"After re-watching the tape, I thought that was the best our defence has looked in a month," said the coach following yesterday's practice. "We broke the puck out better than we have in a long time and I thought the partners did a nice job limiting their chances."
Tonight also marks the first time that former Senator Mark Stone returns to Ottawa since being traded to Vegas last season and Brady Tkachuk is looking forward to facing his former roommate and linemate at Canadian Tire Centre this evening.
"It's going to be weird and different," said Tkachuk about lining up against Stone tonight. "He had a huge impact on me and a lot of guys in this room."
"Being new to the league, I had never experienced the ups and downs that the NHL consists of," he continued. "He helped me with some of the little things and showed me the way a little bit. The way he played on the ice was a huge influence to me and I definitely looked up to him and tried to play like him."
No morning skate today so here's how the Sens' projected line-up could look for tonight:
Tkachuk - Pageau - Brown
Namestnikov - Tierney - Duclair
Ennis - White - Batherson
Chlapik - Anisimov - Sabourin
Chabot - Hainsey
Borowiecki - Zaitsev
Reilly - DeMelo
Craig Anderson (6-11-1) makes his first start for the Sens in 9 days and looks to bounce back after a rough outing against the Capitals on Jan. 7th. Anderson allowed 5 goals in a little more than two periods of work in Washington to drop his 4th consecutive decision but is facing a Golden Knights team that has lost their last 4 games. Marcus Hogberg draws back-up duty tonight.
If you're heading to tonight's game at Canadian Tire Centre, here's a quick fashion advisory as the Sens will sport their NHL 100 Classic jerseys against Vegas. The Sens have previously worn their alternates against the Wild, Bruins, Sabres and earlier this week against the Blackhawks and here's a look at the rest of the games that they're expected to don them this season:
- 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 Golden Knights tonight...
BROADCAST: TSN5, RDS2
RADIO: TSN 1200, 94,5 Unique FM
Can't make it to the rink? Grab some friends and head on over to our Molson Canadian Watch Party at The Prescott (379 Preston St.) where they'll be serving up personal pitchers of Molson Canadian for just $9.25 (plus tax) and giving out some sweet swag and prizes during the game.
To find out where our next watch party will be and specials you can enjoy, visit the full schedule click here.