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Gameday Journal: Game 1 - Predators vs. Senators

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

5:15 PM: Gord Wilson brings you his pre-game report from Nashville ahead of tonight's season opener.

4:45 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Predators...

Ottawa Senators

Forwards

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan

Michalek - Zibanejad - Chiasson

Smith - Legwand - Stone

Hoffman - Lazar - Neil

Defence

Cowen - Karlsson

Phillips - Ceci

Borowiecki - Gryba

Goaltenders

Anderson

Lehner

Scratches: Condra, Greening, Methot (IR), Wiercioch

Nashville Predators

Forwards

Bourque - Ribeiro - Neal

Forsberg - Roy - Smith

Wilson - Jarnkrok - Jokinen

Clune - Gaustad - Nystrom

Defence

Josi - Weber

Ekholm - Jones

Volchenkov - Ellis

Goaltenders

Rinne

Hutton

Scratches: Bartley, Beck, Cullen (IR), Fisher (Non-Roster), Stalberg (IR)

4:30 PM: Sens TV caught up with David Legwand to talk about his return to Nashville yesterday. You can see the interview below...

4:00 PM: Senators forward Clarke MacArthur caught up with Sens TV ahead of tonight's season opener in Nashville.

3:45 PM: Sens forward Curtis Lazar will make his NHL debut tonight for the Senators. Here's what he had to say about his first career game...

On how he feels ahead of puck drop:

I was actually quite surprised with how much sleep I got, I thought I'd be a little restless but I slept like a baby. I'm looking forward to today, it's going to be something special. My family is going to be in attendance and when that puck drops it's just going to be another game pretty much.

On if he's talked to his family since he got the news:

Yeah a little bit, I haven't seen them for a couple of months so it'll be good to catch up with them and have such a special day like today. They're the backbone of my life and everything I work towards so I can't wait to see them and celebrate this moment with them.

On who he'll have in attendance:

There's five, we're a big family of six, I've got my mom, dad, two brothers and my sister who will be here.

On reminding himself it's just another game:

It's just another game, the rules are the same but, then again, the opposition is pretty good hockey players, its a pretty good league and I know for myself it's going to be a step above the pre-season and I have to be prepared for that. I have to have some fun with it. Every kid dreams of being in this position. I'm going to go out there and really enjoy myself and soak it all in.

3:00 PM: Here's what Sens head coach Paul MacLean had to say after today's morning skate...

On changes to the lineup:

The lines and what we've practiced with the last two days are what we'll go with tonight and Craig will be the goalie.

On what he expects from Lazar:

Just come out and be himself and do what he has done throughout training camp. He has been a very consistent player and we'd like to see him do that.

On how much he talks to the scratched players:

I think we've had conversations. Yesterday was extensive conversations and obviously the topic was brought up with them. At this point in time we can only play 20 guys and based on how training camp went the best 20 guys are in the lineup tonight.

On if he was disappointed the camps of the scratches:

No, I don't think totally, I think everybody really had good camp. Greening and Condra, Condra had the injury and we kept him out for a few days and we did that on purpose ourselves for him, I think other guys were just better. That's good for our team, the internal competition level is going to help make us better team. Right now other guys have come in and had better camps and they're going to play here.

On Legwand returning to Nashville:

I know he has been here for 15 years, he's an original player with the franchise and it's his first time back. It's going to be a good night for him, I think he's looking forward to it, he's had a lot of people saying hello to him the past couple of days and I think that's a great tribute to him. A lot of teammates have been by to see him and I think that just gives us more confidence in having him here in Ottawa to help us along the way. I think it's going to be a special night for him.

On opening on the road with so many new faces:

We just have to take the schedule like it is and play the games where they are. For us this is what our schedule gives us and it's special for us to have the coincidence of having David Legwand on our team coming back for the first time will make it special for our group and actually make it a good place for us to start.

On if the opener can favour a visiting team:

I guess it would be easier for a visiting team because of the show. The home team has to get introduced and wait a little bit longer, we still have to wait as well. For us we're just happy to be playing a game and we're looking forward to it. We're looking to build some momentum and that starts with the warm-up tonight.

On working the scratches into the lineup early:

We understand we need to use everybody. We're going to evaluate who should be in our lineup based on our opponent and who played the previous game and what we need to do. I foresee them all getting into games and making our way from there.

On if Lazar will have more leeway with mistakes:

This is the NHL, you either play or you can't. If you can't play and get the job done we'll play someone else.

On Methot:

The patience is still in vogue.

2:00 PM: The Sens had their morning skate at Bridgestone Arena today.

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As the #Sens flag is about to be raised at Ottawa City Hall, morning skate is underway in Nashville.

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10:00 AM: They're back! The Ottawa Senators return to NHL regular season action tonight at 8 p.m. (ET) when they take on the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

The Sens enter the regular season after posting a 4-2-1 record in exhibition play, scoring 20 goals and allowing 18. Tonight will mark the regular season debuts of new Sens acquisitions David Legwand — who returns to Nashville for the first time since being traded at last year's deadline — and Alex Chiasson. It's also likely that Curtis Lazar will play his first NHL game.

A new era for the Predators in 2014-15. Not only has Legwand — the first draft pick in franchise history — departed, but tonight will mark the first game in franchise history that someone other than Barry Trotz coaches for the Preds as Peter Laviolette takes the team over. In their six pre-season games, the new look Predators were 3-3, scoring 11 goals and allowing 12.

The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate today and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts, Sens TV videos, Instagram goodness and more.

Stay tuned!

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