Lots of updates following today's morning skate at CTC including the debuts of Logan Brown and J.C. Beaudin, injury notes on Colin White and Artem Anisimov and more before tonight's 7:30 p.m. start against the Red Wings.
Brown and Beaudin debut
As mentioned above, Brown and Beaudin are both expected to be in the line-up tonight against Detroit as the young centres get their first opportunity of the season to skate with the NHL club. Brown, who was one of the final cuts at training camp this year, has started strong in Belleville this season recoring 7 points ((3G, 4A) in 5 games played and is set to centre Ottawa's top forward unit tonight.
"I took it as a bit of a challenge," said Brown about starting the season in Belleville. "I did everything I could down there and worked hard on the things they wanted me to improve on to get the opportunity back up here."
Video: OTT vs. DET | Logan Brown Pre-game Media
For Beaudin, tonight's game won't just be his first as a Senator but his first game in the NHL after being acquired for Max McCormick from Colorado last February. A third round pick by the Avalanche in 2015, Beaudin is excited to finally get his first crack at a National Hockey League game.
"I've dreamed about this my whole life," said Beaudin after today's morning skate. "It's close to home so I'll have some family in town and I'll enjoy every moment. Montreal is close to here so I have a lot of friends that will probably drive to Ottawa tonight."
We'll kick today's line-up notes off with a pair of players heading to IR as White and Anisimov will each spend a few weeks off as a result of injuries. Sens GM Pierre Dorion updated the media this morning and shared that White will miss 3-5 weeks with a hip flexor/groin injury while Anisimov is expected to miss 1-2 weeks with a lower body injury. Anisimov had missed a few games prior to his return on Monday but White's injury was a little trickier to pin point how he sustainged it.
"The first I heard of it was against Arizona when he tweaked it going over the boards and a few hard strides," said head coach D.J. Smith about White's injury. "In a game when it's warm, it doesn't hurt as much and then he played the next game (in Dallas) and it got worse."
With the absence of White and Anisimov tonight opening the door for Brown and Beaudin to draw into the line-up, the coach also shared that it was the team's NHL depth at centre that kept Brown from cracking the opening night line-up.
"I thought he had a good camp," Smith said. "We wanted him to play a lot of minutes and to start the year with all the centres that we have, we didn't see an opportunity for him to play more than 10 minutes/night. We didn't think that would be any good for his development but we're in a situation now where we have two centres down and, while we were trying to hold him down there so he could play and develop, it's fortunate for him and us with the injuries that he's coming up."
Here's a look at the Sens projected line-up for tonight...
Tkachuk - L. Brown - Duclair
Namestnikov - Tierney - Ryan
Paul - Pageau - C. Brown
Ennis - Beaudin - Sabourin
Chabot - Zaitsev
Brannstrom - Hainsey
Borowiecki - DeMelo
Anders Nilsson (0-2-1) is back between the pipes for the Senators tonight after a pair of solid performances on the team's southern road trip. Despite dropping games to Vegas and Dallas this past week, Nilsson put together a .959 save percentage and a 1.95 goals against average against the Golden Knights and Stars stopping 93 of the 97 shots he faced in his two most recent starts.
"Usually when you get a lot of shots in a game, you don't have to think," said Nilsson about the increased workload. "When you aren't thinking as a goalie or even a skater, you tend to play better. The more shots you face, the less time you have to think in between plays and it's easier to find your rhythm in a game."
Tonight is also Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation night at Canadian Tire Centre where the Senators, along with support from their generous sponsors, will host members of the Armed Forces at the game. Since it's inception over 15 years ago, the Sens have welcomed more than 33,000+ former and current members of the CAF for their annual appreciation night.
"This annual event is about showing support for the women and men serving our country in the Canadian Armed Forces and giving back to those who protect and preserve our way of life," said Senators owner and governor Eugene Melnyk in a news release yesterday. "In honouring our Canadian Armed Forces in this way, we are bringing together people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to show their support and respect for the Canadians who protect our rights and freedoms. We encourage everyone to come out and salute the character and commitment of these brave Canadian Armed Forces members and their families."
Where to watch
It's a 7:30 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre tonight and here's how you can catch all the action between the Sens and Red Wings...
BROADCAST: Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, RDS2
RADIO: TSN 1200, 94,5 Unique FM