Drake Batherson heating up, Nick Paul returns, details on tonight's Hockey Talks / DIFD Night and more Sens pre-game news and notes before hosting the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 p.m.
Just one change to tonight's projected line-up and that's the return of Nick Paul up front. Paul has been sidelined for about a month with a high ankle sprain but rejoined his teammates in a full contact jersey for the first time earlier this week,
In 38 games this season Paul has recorded 13 points (6G, 7A) and will replace Vladislav Namestnikov in the line-up who left Tuesday's game after blocking a shot and is considered day-to-day.
"Too sore to skate," said Smith about Namestnikov's status. "We're hopeful that he can play in Winnipeg."
No word yet on who will start in goal for the Senators tonight but here's a look at the projected forward lines and defence pairings against Colorado:
Tkachuk - Pageau - Brown
Paul - Tierney - Duclair
Ennis - Anisimov - Batherson
Chlapik - White - Sabourin
Chabot - Hainsey
Borowiecki - DeMelo
Reilly - Zaitsev
Since being recalled in early January, forward Drake Batherson has looked more comfortable every game as he works to find a full-time NHL role in Ottawa. Lauded for his scoring potential as a prospect, the 21-year-old has been showing flashes of that offensive touch more regularly during this current recall with the team and has recorded 5 points (1G, 4A) in his last 5 games.
"It was good to see one go in," said Batherson who scored in Ottawa's 3-2 shootout loss to the Ducks on Tuesday. "It was a little nicer than my first one this year so it felt good to score a real goal."
Video: ANA@OTT: Batherson wires home power-play goal
Batherson will square off against a familiar face this evening as well as one of his off-season training partners is in town with the Avalanche. In recent years, Batherson has skated with Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon and others (including Sidney Crosby and Brad Marchand) and credited the sessions with helping him to improve his game during the off-season.
"The thing that stuck out to me is just how hard those guys work," he said of his summer skates out East. "It's the end of June and you don't think those guys are going to go hard but they're the hardest working guys out there and that's why they're so good."
Bell Hockey Talks / DIFD
Some good things happening at the game tonight as the Ottawa Senators and Ottawa Senators Foundation joined up to present Bell Hockey Talks Youth Mental Health Awareness Night, benefiting the Do it For Daron Fund.
How you can get involved and make a difference:
Where to watch
It's a 7:30 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre and here's how you can catch all the action between the Sens and Avalanche...
BROADCAST: TSN5, RDS2
RADIO: TSN 1200, 94,5 Unique FM
Sens fans in Carleton Place! We're bringing our Molson Canadian Watch Party to the Thirsty Moose (20 Bridge St.) where they'll be serving up 20oz pints of Molson Canadian for just $6.75 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.