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Gameday Journal: Game 36 - Sabres vs. Senators

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

7:15 PM: Lineup update:


6:30 PM: THIS. IS. KANATA!

Game #36: Monday, December 29, 2014. Buffalo Sabres #UnitedInRed #Harv

A photo posted by Ottawa Senators (@nhlsenators) on


5:30 PM: Here's some crucial information ahead of tonight's game against the Sabres...

Jersey: Home Red

Television: TSN5, RDS

Radio: TSN 1200, Unique FM 94,5


3:00 PM: And from NHL.com, here are the projected lineups for each team...

SENATORS

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle TurrisMark Stone

Mike HoffmanMika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Erik Condra - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Alex Chiasson

Milan Michalek - David LegwandColin Greening

Mark Borowiecki - Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen - Cody Ceci

Chris Phillips - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Patrick Wiercioch

Injured: Zack Smith (wrist), Chris Neil (knee), Marc Methot (back/hip)

SABRES

Matt Moulson – Zemgus Girgensons – Tyler Ennis

Nicolas Deslauriers – Brian Flynn – Drew Stafford

Cody Hodgson – Mikhail Grigorenko – Chris Stewart

Johan Larsson – Cody McCormick – Patrick Kaleta

Josh Gorges – Mark Pysyk

Nikita Zadorov – Andre Benoit

Mike Weber – Andrej Meszaros

Jhonas Enroth

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: None

Injured: Matt Hackett (knee), Tyler Myers (lower body), Rasmus Ristolainen (illness), Torrey Mitchell (lower body), Tyson Strachan (lower body), Marcus Foligno (hand), Brian Gionta (head)


1:30 PM: Get the full rundown on tonight's game versus the Buffalo Sabres with the Pre-Game Report courtesy of Sens TV and Gord Wilson...


1:10 PM: Head coach Dave Cameron also took time to talk with the media this morning prior to the team's game against the Buffalo Sabres. Here's what he had to say courtesy Sens TV...

On if Chris Phillips returns to the lineup tonight:

Yes.

On if Patrick Wiercioch comes out of the lineup tonight:

Yes.

Updates on Methot and Neil:

I'll be honest with you, I've got so much going on as a head coach that I just get a quick: "that they're doing well" and I don't delve into any depth. Until I see them on the ice and they tell me they're ready for contact...then I'll get real excited.

On Methot and Neil resuming skating before practice:

It's a step. I think Marc was out yesterday too.

On if he's happy about the upcoming 5-day break between games:

No. Not at all. Not after we just had a long break. It's time to get back at it. Then we're looking at another break, I think the 22nd of January for the All-Star. I don't think the timing's great but nothing we can do about it, right? So you just have to prepare going in, prepare for it during and prepare coming out.

On the team's practice schedule over the break:

We have Sens Skills which cancels a day and they earned a day off January 1st so that kinda cuts into it a bit.

On the team's strategy to help generate more offense:

Shoot the puck, get somebody on the net, second and third chances. That's how you create offense.

On the offense being produced by the forward lines so far:

I'm happy with all my lines now. Would I expect more? Of course. That's the nature of coaching and that's what we do. We keep demanding but I'm happy with our effort so far knowing full well we have to get better.

On the team's recent issues finishing games in overtime:

Yeah, you'd like to score first. We had a breakaway the other night with Karl. You'd like to see that go in but as long as you give yourself a chance. It's a little harder to defend in overtime because it's more ice but you'd like to be able to have that killer instinct and be able to get that additional point.


12:45 PM: Erik Karlsson spoke to the media after practice this morning. Here's what he had to say via Sens TV...


11:45 AM: We caught up with Erik Condra after today's morning skate. Here's what he had to say...

On the fans coming out for the Sens Gameday Experience:

It makes it a little more exciting. Growing up I went to some of the Detroit Red Wings practices. It's cool for us and I'm sure it's great for them. It gets us a little more excited and gives us a little more energy out there.

On finishing games off:

Over the past 10 games we've played well we just haven't gotten a lot of victories and that's something we need to work on. We need to get over that hump. We're right there but it does take another step to get over it.

His recent goal production:

I think one bounce goes your way and then you start feeling it and getting a little more confidence and maybe start holding on to the puck a little more. But sometimes you just need a flukey one to go your way to get rolling.


10:45 AM: The Sens hit the ice for the morning skate in front of a much larger crowd than normal...

Thanks to all the fans who came out to the #Sens Gameday Experience today!

A photo posted by Ottawa Senators (@nhlsenators) on


9:30 AM: The Ottawa Senators get back at it tonight when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Canadian Tire Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Senators are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. Mike Hoffman and Clarke MacArthur provided the offence for Ottawa while Craig Anderson made 24 saves in defeat. The Sens currently sport a record of 14-14-7 and sit 11th in the Eastern Conference.

The Sabres visit Ottawa after a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders this past Saturday. Buffalo actually trailed 3-0 after the second period but rallied to score three unanswered third period goals to send the game into the extra frame. Nicolas Deslauriers, Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart all marked for the Sabres while Jhonas Enroth turned aside 33 shots to earn the victory. With that win, Buffalo improved their record to 14-19-3 good for 14th place in the Eastern Conference and just 4 points back of the Senators.

These teams met just two weeks ago in Ottawa with Buffalo earning an exciting 5-4 shootout victory that night. The Senators overcame a 3-1 deficit to take eventually take a 4-3 lead late into the third period but were unable to hold on against a surging Sabres group. You can watch the highlights from that game here:

The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate today (which is open the to the public) 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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