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Game Day Notes: Sens vs. Golden Knights

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

Chabot continues to impress, lots of players returning from injuries tonight and more line-up stuff before puck drop against the Golden Knights.

Top spot for Chabot

If you're scanning the stats pages over at NHL.com and you're looking for Thomas Chabot...look up. Way up.

The 21-year-old sophomore not only leads the Senators in scoring this season with 20 points (4G, 16A) in 15 games but he's currently the top scoring defenceman in the National Hockey League. When asked about his hot start to the season, Chabot was quick to aknowledge the contributions made by his teammates.

"Obviously I hear about it and the guys kind of joke around about it here," said Chabot about leading the NHL in scoring by a defenceman. "If it wasn't for my teammates though, nothing would happen. The guys have been playing really well and I'm just trying to help the team to win."

"It's not like I have 40 goals or something," Chabot continued. "I have a bunch of assists so the guys are putting it in the net. The reason that I'm doing well is because my teammates are too."

While his offensive accumen has been well documented this season, Chabot is focused on tonight's rematch against the Golden Knights. The Sens were badly outshot in Vegas last month and he's aware of what challenges tonight's competition brings to the table.

"When we look at the game last time in Vegas, they throw everything to the net," he said. "They have a lot of speed and they forecheck hard so that's something that we can expect. The last time we played them I think they had 97 shot attempts so that's something that we're going to have to be aware of."

 

 

Up Front

The Sens will be getting several players back in their line-up tonight including forwards Brady Tkachuk and Bobby Ryan. Tkachuk has only appeared in 4 games this season before tearing a ligament in his leg while Ryan exited Tuesday's game with a minor injury but both have been cleared to play tonight.

"We've been dealing with a lot of injuries for a long time now," said head coach Guy Boucher. "So anybody coming back is good but when you have a lot of guys who are back that's all good for us."

Another quick injury update as Zack Smith, who has been sidelined with a broken bone in his face, joined the Sens on the ice this morning and the coach shared that he could be ready to return as early as next week.

Tweet from @Senators: ���Zack S.��� joins the #Sens on the ice this morning for the first time since suffering a broken bone in his face. pic.twitter.com/751ZRG5cN9

The Sens will go with 11 forwards this evening and with Tkachuk set to return, Jack Rodewald has been sent back to Belleville. With all the injuries and no line rushes this morning, here's a crack at the forward lines for tonight:

Dzingel - Duchene - Stone

Tkachuk - Tierney - Boedker

Paul - White - Ryan

Pyatt - Paajarvi

 

On Defence

The Sens will also get some help back on the blueline tonight as the coach confirmed that Mark Borowiecki will return to action after missing Tuesday's game against the Devils. Borowiecki has been absent for a few games recently as a result of his latest injury and a pair of suspensions, the most recent coming against the Golden Knights on October 28th.

Rookie defenceman Max Lajoie made his NHL debut on opening night this season and has officially spent his first month with the Senators. Lajoie joked that it feels like a lot more than a month has gone by since his 2 point performance against the Blackhawks on October 4th.

"It's a lot different than what people think," Lajoie said about the day-to-day life of an NHLer. "It's a lot of hard work and every day you skate or work out so you need to learn to take advantage of your days off to help take care of your body."

Lajoie has been very appreciative of the team's leadership group during his first month in the NHL, particularly Craig Anderson who offered him a place to stay during the season, but also the veteran defencemen who have taken him under their wing as he adjusts to the game on the ice.

"Ceci has been my defence partner for most of the season and he's been a huge help," he said. "Everyone has really helped me out though, especially the older guys, and they've really made the transition a lot easier for me."

Morning skate.

A post shared by Ottawa Senators (@senators) on

Not entirely sure which defenceman will be scratched tonight so here's a look at the pairings from yesterday's practice:

Chabot - DeMelo 

Lajoie - Ceci 

Borowiecki - Jaros 

Wideman - Burgdoerfer

 

In Goal

Despite leaving Tuesday's game in the final minutes, Boucher confirmed yesterday that Craig Anderson (6-4-1) will get the start in goal today against the Golden Knights. The coach went on to share that the Sens starting netminder just "tweaked" somthing and his exit late in the third period against the Devils was a combination of precaution and the score at the time.

"I'm feeling great and had a great practice today," Anderson said following the team's morning skate. "I just came out for precautionary reasons. We were up by three goals and felt that it was best to pop out at that time."

Anderson seems to have found his rhythm between the pipes again and his save percentage over the past 6 games is a very respectable .915%, which includes an incredibly forgettable day for the entire team against the Buffalo Sabres last weekend. In his last appearance against the Golden Knights on October 28th, Anderson was tested early and often and finished the contest stopping 49 of the 53 shots he faced in Vegas.

Tweet from @Senators: The coach confirms that Craig Anderson will start in goal tomorrow against the Golden Knights. pic.twitter.com/HB8Ejb0Jih

 

Where to Watch

It's a 7:30 p.m. start time at Canadian Tire Centre tonight and if you don't have tickets already, grabs some right here. With today also being a Thursday, the boys will be wearing their alternate jerseys tonight so please dress accordingly.

Tweet from @Senators: It's a Thursday home game which means the #Sens will be rocking their alternate jerseys tonight. Please #dressaccordingly. pic.twitter.com/VJlevu5ucX

Looking for a spot to catch tonight's game? Well if you can't make it to the rink, Sens House is literally the next best thing and during this evening's game against the Golden Knights they'll be serving up tall cans of Molson Canadian for just $6 or a bucket of 3 for $17.50. Click here to make a reservation.

 

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