Game Day Notes: Game #69 - Sens @ Sharksby Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators
The Sens kick off their 5-game western road swing in San Jose and we've got all the latest pre-game news and notes before tonight's 7 p.m. start against the Sharks.
After seeing the start of his season get delayed just days before training camp opened this season, defenceman Christian Wolanin has fully recovered from shoulder surgery and worked his way back into the Sens' line-up tonight in San Jose. Upon completing his rehab in Ottawa, the 24-year-old defender was sent to Belleville where he skated in 9 games to help work off some of the rust and was recalled yesterday where he will swap places with Christian Jaros who headed the other way down the 401.
Wolanin has appeared in 40 games with Ottawa over the previous two seasons recording 5 goals and 10 assists over that span. Sens head coach D.J. Smith said that Wolanin will start on a pairing with Andreas Englund and likely won't see much time on the power play tonight since he hasn't had a chance to practice with that group recently.
"I'm excited to watch him play," said the coach. "There were a lot of high hopes coming into the season but unfortunately he got hurt. You also have to take into consideration that he's been out a long time and hasn't played an NHL game in a long time so we have to be patient with him."
Video: Christian Wolanin | The Comeback
No line-up changes are expected tonight beyond Wolanin's return so Smith is hoping to carry over some momentum for Thursday's 4-3 win over the Islanders with a smiliar line-up against an opponent he believes is playing better than their record suggests.
"This team works really hard," Smith said of the Sharks. "They've outchanced the majority of teams they've faced they just haven't scored a ton of goals but they've outworked and outchanced their last 4 or 5 opponents so we have to be prepared to work."
The coach did confirm that Craig Anderson (10-16-2) will get the start in net tonight following a stellar 37-save performance in his most recent outing in Thursday's aforementioned victory.
Here's a look at tonight's projected lines and pairings...
Tkachuk - Tierney - Brown
Balcers - White - Ryan
Duclair - Paul - Hawryluk
Boedker - Peca - Sabourin
Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Englund - Wolanin
These teams last met earlier this season on Oct. 27th in Ottawa where the Senators cruised to a 5-2 win. Nick Paul (2G, 1A) and Brady Tkachuk (1G, 2A) lead the way offensively with three points each while Anderson was sharp in net, stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced to pick up the decision.
"I think my biggest asset when I was in the AHL was skating with the puck," said Paul post-game. "I've been getting a little more confident to do that here instead of just making a quick play. Using my feet, using my legs and just skating with the puck and creating space has been helping me a lot."
Full highlights from that game below:
Video: Paul, Tkachuk help Senators defeat Sharks
Where to watch
It's a 7 p.m. start in San Jose and here's how you can catch all the action between the Sens and Sharks...
BROADCAST: Sportsnet ONE, City
RADIO: TSN 1200, 94,5 Unique FM
Need a great spot to watch the game? Round up a crew and swing by Jonny Canuck's Bar & Grill where all Molson Canadian products are 25% off during the game.
To find out where our next watch party will be and specials you can enjoy, visit the full schedule click here.