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Gameday Journal: Game 12 - Senators vs. Blackhawks

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

5:15 PM: Gord Wilson gets you set for puck drop with his usual game preview.

5:00 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie catches up with Chris Neil and we may or may not get a sneak peek at his upcoming Halloween costume...

4:30 PM: Craig Anderson will get the start against his hometown team, which is coincidentally the team that drafted him, tonight in Chicago. In six career games against the Blackhawks he is 4-0-2 with a 3.01 GAA and .908 save percentage. Here's what he had to say...

On playing Chicago:

It's always fun to come back here. It's always a great building with a lot of energy and brings back some good memories.

On family and friends in the crowd:

Quite a few. More than enough. I'm sure there's plenty of people here that'll probably be at the game that I don't even know about just because they're big Chicago fans, etc., and they like hockey and they'll be at the game and I won't even know it.

On what the Blackhawks do well:

Every team scouts the other team pretty good. We have a general idea of what they're trying to do but at the same time you have to read and react and react to the game and play, you just can't go out there and be robots. You've got to adjust to the moves and make constant adjustments throughout the game.

On similarities between Chicago and San Jose:

From what I understand I know the Hawks are a pretty good puck possession team, they want to hold on to the puck as long as possible, they're not afraid to be physical. It seems like all their guys are willing to be physical and take the body and obviously they've got a lot of good skill over there. It's just one of those things where every night is a battle. It doesn't matter what sweater you're playing against, you've got to show up and play.

3:30 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Blackhawks...

Chicago Blackhawks


Sharp - Toews - Hossa

Saad - Pirri - Kane

Bickell - Shaw - Morin

Bolig - Kruger - Mills


Keith - Seabrook

Oduya - Hjalmarsson

Leddy - Brookbank




Ottawa Senators


Michalek - Spezza - Ryan

MacArthur - Turris - Zibanejad

Conacher - Smith - Neil

Greening - Grant - Condra


Karlsson - Methot

Phillips - Wiercioch

Cowen - Corvo




3:00 PM: Sens head coach Paul MacLean met with the media after today's morning skate to talk about tonight's tilt with the Chicago Blackhawks. Here's what he had to say...

On tonight's lineup:

Craig Anderson is the goalie and right now Clarke MacArthur appears — I haven't talked to him since he got off the ice but he skated well yesterday and today but it appears that he'll be ready to go. If that's the case then we would probably not have Kassian or Pageau in the lineup.

On how MacArthur affects the lines:

We're going to go with what we did the last two days in practice if Clarke's ready. If Clarke's not ready we might make some other adjustments based on whether or not we'd play Kassian or Pageau.

On if MacArthur's absence affected Turris:

No, I don't think so. No.

On Chicago:

They're only the Stanley Cup champions. We're probably going to get a pretty good game. They play with a lot of speed, they have good skill, their work ethic is very good. Last night watching them they were very efficient in their own zone and they're going to be a good test for us, which I think is what we need is a good test for our team again here on the road and see if we can come out and really start the game much better than we have lately.

On Zibanejad's ascent up the lineup:

Well kind of the rule we have in Ottawa is if you play well you get to play. Since he has come up here he has played well. If you're playing well we better get you on the ice and get you playing with as good players as we can get you playing with.

On Zibanejad's position:

He has played more centre than right wing but we certainly believe he can play the wing. We haven't seen him there on the wing a lot so it's still kind of a work in progress with him as far as having enough looks at him to see if he's better at one or the other, but I think right now he's more comfortable at centre but we need him to play right wing.

On having two centres on that line:

That never hurts on the faceoffs, you can decide who's going to play one or the other. Having lots of guys who can take faceoffs is important.

On Karlsson's first month:

I think for him it has been a process where it has been good and bad and frustrating at the same time for him. But, when you're coming back from a major injury like that it's going to take some time to get things the way you want them and feel the way you want to. I've felt that the last couple of games his play with the puck and his ability to jump, his skating ability, is getting closer to being back to where it was. The more he does that the better he's going to be defensively.

12:30 PM: They're on the ice at United Center...

11:30 PM: The Sens have arrived at United Center for today's skate.

9:30 AM: After a tough weekend that included losses to the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks, the Sens will look to turn it around by wrapping up their October with a win when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.

The defending champs are off to a good start this season, posting a 7-2-3 record and a 4-1-2 mark at home. Last night, they beat the Minnesota Wild by a 5-1 score in St. Paul.

The Sens will have a morning walkthrough today in Chicago and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts on tonight's game, Sens TV updates, Instagram goodness and more.

You can also expect some forthcoming changes in this space as we will be partnering with Monarch Homes — one of Canada's oldest and most respected homebuilders for nearly a century — to bring you the Gameday Journal you have come to know and love. Same great content, new great partner.

Stay tuned!

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