Jayce Hawryluk talks about his recent offensive contributions since landing in Ottawa plus we've got a look at the Sens' projected line-up against the New York Islanders before tonight's 7:30 p.m. puck drop at Canadian Tire Centre.
Hawryluk finding his stride
Since being claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers last month, Jayce Hawryluk has looked more comfortable and confident with every game he plays for the Senators. He admitted it took him some time to get accustomed to his expanded role in Ottawa but shared that the mix of opportunity and ice-time have been the biggest factors for his quick transition.
"I think it's a bit of everything," Hawryluk said about his play since joining the team. "It had been awhile since I've played in any games before I got here or even played this much so I'm very thankful for the opportunity to get that ice-time alongside some really skilled players."
Sens head coach D.J. Smith has taken notice of Hawryluk's contributions and praised the young forward who seems to have left a positive impression to start his extended audtion with the team.
"The way he's playing is showing me and the league that he belongs," said Smith about Hawryluk's first few weeks with the Senators. "Now he has to continue to do that today and for the rest of his career but every coach in the league wants a player that's going to show up and play hard every day and he's that guy right now."
Video: OTT@PIT: Hawryluk taps home rebound to trim deficit
Hawryluk has recorded points in 4 of his 5 games (1G, 3A) which included scoring his first goal with his new club on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh where he was rewarded for crashing the crease and cleaning up a rebound that fell behind Penguins goalie Matt Murray.
"It was a fortunate bounce off a good shot from Reilly so I just had to clean up the loose change there," he said. "The coaching staff has been preaching hard work and driving the net since I got here and it paid off for me on that goal."
Just one change to tonight's line-up as Anthony Duclair is set to return after missing the last 4 games with an injury. Duclair is subbing in for Artem Anisimov who left Tuesday's game in the first period with an upper-body injury so that means Nick Paul will shift to the middle and centre a line of Duclair and Hawryluk.
"He's a real responsible player," the coach said of Paul's new role tonight. "He's played low all year and covered for a lot of guys so the hard part will be distributing the puck and being in the middle for the whole game. In saying that, he played it in Junior, not that that's the NHL, but he has done it and he's in the best shape of anyone on the team so if there's a guy that can do it...he can."
Video: OTT vs. NYI | Coach Pre-game Media
The Sens will also welcome back Jean-Gabriel Pageau tonight as the long-time Senator will return for his first game with his new team since being dealt to the Islanders at the trade deadline for a package of draft picks which included first and second round picks this June. Pageau had skated in 428 games in Ottawa since being drafted in the fourth round in 2011 but is probably most remembered for his epic offensive outbursts in the post-season.
"He's a guy who wore every hat here. Not just on the ice but in the room too," said Bobby Ryan this morning. "I know when I went back to face my former team for the first time, there was a lot of emotion involved and this being in his hometown adds even more to it I'm sure."
Also it wasn't officially confirmed but all signs point to Craig Anderson (9-16-2) as tonight's probable starter in goal against the Islanders. Stay tuned for warm-up for confirmation.
Here's how the forward lines and defence pairings look at today's morning skate:
Tkachuk - Tierney - Brown
Balcers - White - Ryan
Duclair - Paul - Hawryluk
Boedker - Peca - Sabourin
Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Englund - Jaros
Hockey For Her
Included as part of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative, the National Hockey League's Girls and Women in Hockey campaign was created to recognize female players, leaders and role models who are making an impact on and off the ice.
For the second consecutive year, the Ottawa Senators will recognize influential female role models in the Ottawa-Gatineau hockey community at tonight's game including a pre-game event in The Ledge which includes a keynote discussion presented by The GIST.
For more details on Hockey For Her click here.
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 Islanders tonight...
BROADCAST: TSN5, RDS2
RADIO: TSN 1200, 94,5 Unique FM
Can't make it to the rink? Well why not make the trip to Sens House (73 York St.) and hit up our Molson Canadian Watch Party where they'll be serving up pitchers of Molson Canadian for $15, buckets of (5) for $25 and nachos for $10 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.