Game Day Notes: Pre-Season Game #6 - Sens @ Canadiensby Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators
It's the final game of the pre-season and we've got the latest on tonight's projected line-up, starting goaltender and more before our 7 p.m. puck drop in Montreal against the Canadiens.
Centre of attention
With tonight being the Senators' pre-season finale, it offers one more chance for the players battling for a roster spot to make their case. For Logan Brown, it sees him shift back to the middle between two of the team's top wingers in Brady Tkachuk and Connor Brown.
"It's a big opportunity for me," said Brown following today's skate at Canadian Tire Centre. "It's a chance to play on the first line here so it's exciting to get to play with those guys and show what I can do."
Brown had spent some time moving back and forth between centre and wing this week and shared that he's willing to fill whatever role the coaches ask him. Not only will he have the comfort of playing his natural position tonight in Montreal but he'll have a familiar face on his line from his days in minor hockey.
"We were linemates way back in the day when we were like 10 years old," Brown said about his long history with Tkachuk. "It'll be fun to lace'em up and play with Brady again."
In addition to Brown, a few other young Senators will also have a final chance to impress tonight and that's exactly what Sens head coach D.J. Smith will be looking for.
"We have a bunch of young guys trying to make it and we'll have that over the next few years," said the coach. "Guys will have their final chance here tonight to show that they belong in the National Hockey League and we have some hard decisions to make."
In a nice bit of news this afternoon, Vitaly Abramov will draw back into the line-up after missing about a week with a concussion. Smith mentioned yesterday that Abramov had been cleared by doctors but his availability for tonight's game was still up in the air until the coach confirmed it after the morning skate.
"He's going to play tonight," Smith said about Abramov. "It's unfortunate because I thought he had a great rookie camp, he had a decent first game and then he's been hurt so we're going to give him a look here tonight and see what happens."
Colin White and Artem Anisimov will both sit out tonight's game after getting nicked up this week but Smith assured that it wasn't anything serious and they'd each likely play if it was a regular season game as opposed to an exhibition game. The news wasn't as positive for Rudolfs Balcers who is expected to miss about a month after leaving Wednesday's game with an injury.
Here's a look at the Sens projected line-up tonight...
Tkachuk - L. Brown - C. Brown
Duclair - Tierney - Ryan
Boedker - Pageau - Batherson
Abramov - Chlapik - Sabourin
Chabot - DeMelo
Brannstrom - Hainsey
Borowiecki - Jaros
After a stunning 44-save performance against the Canucks on Wednesday night, Craig Anderson gets the night off in Montreal. Anderson has been lights out through 7 exhibition games, sporting a .948 sv% after his first three pre-season appearances this year, and head coach D.J. Smith confirmed that Anderson will get a break with Anders Nilsson set to start tonight against the Canadiens.
"Anderson got a lot of work in Vancouver and we feel he's been really good," said Smith. "We'd like to get Nilsson one more game."
Nilsson's last appearance was on Monday in Abbotsford against the Canucks and he is looking for a bounce back outing in the team's last exhibition game before the season starts on Wednesday.
Where to Watch
After skating in Ottawa this morning the Senators are on their way to Montreal for tonight's 7 p.m. start against the Canadiens and you can catch all the action live on TSN5 and on the radio at TSN 1200 with Dean Brown and Gord Wilson.
Opening home series
The Sens are back at Canadian Tire Centre in just one week to kick off their season at home with a Saturday night match-up against the New York Rangers on Oct. 5th. Don't miss that game or the three others against the Blues. Lightning and Wild as part of the Senators' Home Opening Series. Grab your tickets here and we'll see you at the rink!