Get set for tonight's 7 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre against the Maple Leafs with the latest on the Sens' line-up, starting goaltender, some injury updates and more.
Two quick line-up notes this morning as interim head coach Marc Crawford shared that Mark Borowiecki has been ruled out for tonight's game with an upper body injury. While it's unclear how much time he's expected to miss as a result, Crawford reassured that it didn't appear to be too severe.
"It shouldn't keep him out too long," said the coach this morning. "Unfortunately he will not be able to play for us this evening."
Zack Smith, who has missed the last 3 games with a nagging back issue, will be a game time decision tonight but early indications are he should be ready to return to action against the Maple Leafs.
"We're hopeful that he'll be able to go," said Crawford about Smith's availability. "All signs are pointing to that but we'll make sure."
Video: Sens vs. Maple Leafs - Coach Pre-game
Fresh off a 35-save shutout on Tuesday against the Sabres, Craig Anderson (16-25-4) is back between the pipes tonight for the Senators. Crawford elected to stick with his scheduled plan to start Anders Nilsson against the Panthers on Thursday as opposed to sticking with Anderson for the 4th game in a row.
"We've got a schedule planned out and we're going to stick to that," said Anderson. "It doesn't matter what the results are...that's how things go at the end of the year when we're in the situation that we're in. We're not exactly making a playof push at this point so there's really no reason to change anything that we have already scheduled."
After a long stretch where he failed to record a victory, Anderson has rattled off wins in his last two starts and looks to grow that streak tonight against the Maple Leafs. In his last 10 starts against Toronto, Anderson has compiled a record of 7-2-0 with one shutout as well as recording a pair of assists of that same span.
Lajoie and Brannstrom Injured
Some additional injury news to pass along as well in case you missed it yesterday but Max Lajoie's season has come to an early conclusion thanks to a sports hernia that will require surgery. It's a bit of a disappointing end to a solid rookie campaign for Lajoie who appeared in 56 games with the Senators this season recording 15 points (7G, 8A).
"If you had told me at the start of the year that I would have played that many games in the NHL this year, I would have been really surprised," said Lajoie. "I was really happy with my year and it's a good confidence boost for me. I'm excited for a good summer and to come back at 100%."
The recovery timeline has been set for around 6-10 weeks so the good news is that this shouldn't impact his summer training as he prepares for his sophomore season.
"On the positive side of things, they've diagnosed it quickly," said Crawford. "He's going to have the operation and he'll be able to train fully very shortly. It means he'll get a full summer training period and that's really positive because the biggest factor for Max is strength. His strength has to become 'man strength' and when it becomes 'man strength' his intelligence, his shot, his IQ and all those things are at an NHL level. It's just his strength that needs to improve."
Fellow blueliner Erik Brannstrom is currently listed as week-to-week with an upper body injury which will impact his ability to help Belleville down the stretch. Brannstrom has appeared in 2 NHL and 9 AHL games for the organization since being acquired at the deadline and could become ready to return closer to the AHL's post-season.
It was just two weeks ago but we're going to hit the rewind button anyways. The Sens offence exploded for 6 against the visiting Maple Leafs powered by a pair of goals from Magnus Paajarvi (including the game winner). Smith registered a career-best 3 assists in the victory while Anders Nilsson was a rock in the crease turning aside 35 of the 37 shots he faced to earn the decision.
You can watch the full highlights from that game here but I'd recommend giving our minute-long recap a watch as well to get a look inside the Sens' locker room post-game:
Where to Watch
It's a 7 p.m. start time here in Ottawa tonight and there are still a few tickets kicking around which you can grab right here.
Can't make it to CTC and need a spot to catch the game tonight? Round up a crew and head on over to Buster's Bar on Carling Ave. where you can catch all the action plus score Molson Canadian drafts for just $5.75 all evening long.