Duclair talks opportunities in Ottawa, Anderson set for game #400 with Sens and more pre-game news and notes before our 7:30 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre.
Duclair clicking for Sens
Fresh off his first multi-point game with the Senators, Anthony Duclair looks to have found a fit here in Ottawa. The 23-year-old forward now has 9 points (5G, 4A) in his last 8 games and seems to be taking advantage of the situation he's been presented with in the Nation's Capital.
"I'm getting a really good opportunity here," said Duclair about his time with the Senators so far. "It's a young team and I think I fit in well with the system we play here."
Video: TOR@OTT: Duclair rips one-timer past Sparks
Duclair was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 23rd in a package for Ryan Dzingel and, after a brief adjustment period, he's been one of the key contributors in the Sens' recent success. Since March 14th, the Senators have compiled a record of 5-3-0 which is a vast improvement to their 28-44-6 season totals so far.
"It's been a lot of fun winning games here lately," he said. "That's the plan moving forward: win as many games as possible and focus on playing the right way."
Ottawa recently dropped a 5-1 decision to the Lightning on March 2nd in Tampa Bay so it will be another stiff test for the Senators at home as they get set to host the top team in the NHL tonight.
"It's going to be a tough one for sure," Duclair said. "We saw that the last time we went to Tampa because they just have so much firepower throughout their whole line-up. We're going to have to have another good showing, pay attention to our coverages in the defensive zone and play them hard if we want to have some success tonight."
Sens interim head coach Marc Crawford met with the media following today's optional skate and confirmed that he'll be deploying the exact same line-up as this past weekend's 4-2 win against the Maple Leafs.
"I thought the guys played a great game," the coach said about Saturday's performance. "They were resilient and paid attention to the details. We're playing against the top team in the league tonight so obviously we're going to have to play well if we're going to have a similar type performance."
Video: Sens vs. Lightning - Coach Pre-game
Mark Borowiecki has been ruled out for the for the second consecutive game with an upper body injury. No line rushes this morning at today's optional skate so here's how the lines and pairings looked against Toronto:
Smith - Pageau - Ryan
Tkachuk - White - Gibbons
Balcers - Tierney - Veronneau
Duclair - Lindberg - Paajarvi
Chabot - DeMelo
Wolanin - Ceci
Harpur - Jaros
No surprise here, Craig Anderson (17-25-4) is back in the crease for the Sens tonight against the Lightning. Anderson has been stellar lately, picking up wins in his last three straight starts which includes a massive 42-save performance versus Toronto over the weekend.
"I thought we didn't get down on ourselves," said Anderson about the Sens' response in the third period on Saturday. "I think we knew we made a mistake and gave up an odd-man rush, but I thought the very next shift we got back to basics, we got back to what was giving us some success and made it difficult for them."
Tonight's start also marks Anderson's 400th career game with Ottawa where he already holds the franchise record for games played (399), wins (191), saves (11,504) and his 28 shutouts trail only Patrick Lalime's 30 for the most in Senators' history.
"It's a long time," Anderson said to the media this morning. "It's one of those things where you just keep playing and don't really think about it. When you look at it in the grand scheme of things, it is a nice accomplishment to feel good about but at the same time you just have to go out there and play hockey and let you guys keep the counter going."
Where to Watch
It's the second last home game of the season and you should definitely join us in person. Click here to grab some tickets.
In need of a spot to catch the game? Then head over to the Glue Pot Pub on Queen St. where they'll be serving up $6 tall cans of Molson Canadian during the game.