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Gameday Journal: Game 50 - Capitals vs. Senators

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

4:30 PM: Here's some crucial information ahead of tonight's game against the Capitals...

It's Throwback Thursday! Which means the Sens will be wearing their heritage jerseys, there will be “throwback” concession specials, entertainment and more!

Get $1.00 hot dogs and $1.00 small pops before 7 pm (limit 2 per person)

Jersey: Heritage Black

Television: TSN5, RDS

Radio: TSN 1200, Unique FM 94,5


4:00 PM: Get up to speed for tonight's game with the Pre-Game Report courtesy of Sens TV...


3:15 PM: And from NHL.com, here's a look at tonight's projected line-ups...

Click to enlarge

CAPITALS

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Marcus Johansson

Andre Burakovsky – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Troy Brouwer

Brooks Laich – Eric Fehr – Joel Ward

Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Defense

Brooks Orpik – John Carlson

Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen

Jack Hillen – Mike Green

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby

Justin Peters

Scratched: Jason Chimera, Michael Latta


1:45 PM: Here's a sneak peek at tonight's pre-game video that will run on the Bell HD Screen...


1:30 PM: Sens head coach Dave Cameron spoke with the media after today's optional skate and you can catch his comments courtesy of Sens TV...

Looking back at Chris Phillips' career:

I can't look too far back because he's played a long time here before I arrived but if you set the record for a franchise with that many games obviously you're a real good player who's been able to stay healthy and be able to contribute all the way through. That's the only way you survive that long in this league with one team.

On the dilemma of having 8 NHL defensemen on the roster:

Obviously, it's a real reflection on your depth. We've got 8 NHL defensemen but it's really hard to get a read because we have some young guys in the mix that we're trying to sort out, find out where they are and get their NHL careers on stable footing. It's really hard to juggle eight and that's part of the discussion we have every day is 'how are we going to do this?'.

On preparing for the Ovechkin and Backstrom tonight:

You've got to know where they are and you've got to take away their time and space. You have to make it difficult for them. You're not going to shut them down but you have to make sure that everything they generate; they earn.


Sens forward Chris Neil also took a moment to talk with the media and reflect back on the career of his long-time teammate Chris Phillips...


And finally Curtis Lazar also spoke about Phillips's milestone game tonight...


12:10 PM: We caught up with Chris Phillips and Cody Ceci ahead of tonight's milestone game for Phillips. Here's what they had to say...

Chris Phillips

On staying relatively healthy over his career:

Outside of an ankle injury in my second year, there's really been nothing major. Whatever I've been doing to avoid injury and be able to play a large part of the games each and every year is obviously the reason why I'm at where I'm at.

On coming up big in important/milestone games and if he has anything in store for tonight:

I hope I do. I'm not sure why that is. I don't know if it's just the hockey gods rewarding me or something I'm doing but definitely over the years I've prided myself on raising that level for playoff games and maybe it's the same attitude that I have going in to these games as well. I'd love nothing more than to be able to keep that going in big games.

On his career path with the Senators:

To be able to step in year 1 and be in the playoffs and not miss it again for 10 or 12 years was something special. Going to Conference Finals, winning the President's Trophy and playing in the Stanley Cup Finals made it really easy coming in to the rink for a long time with the groups that we had and the success that we had to go along with it.


Cody Ceci

On the longevity of Chris Phillips's career in Ottawa:

I grew up watching him and he's played a ton of games here. This year, he's been in and out of the line-up and I know that was tough for him but they planned it right and he gets to break the record at home.

On playing along side a player he watched as a kid:

Last year at our skills competition, they asked me who my favourite player was growing up and I said him so he knows that I grew up watching him. I came out and skated with him at the skills competition when I was a kid and he was just coming into the league also. He's been around for awhile and we tend to let him know every now and then.

On being 2 games away from playing in 100 NHL games and trying to wrap his head around Chris Phillip's 1,179:

It's not even comparable. I'm happy my 100th game isn't on the same night as his record (laughs). He's played a lot of games and he knows his stuff and I'm still coming in to the league. 100 games is nothing these days.

On how quickly his 98 NHL games has gone by:

It went by really fast. I feel like I just got called up.


10:45 AM: The Sens hit the ice at CTC for this morning's optional skate...


9:45 AM: The Ottawa Senators get back to action on Thursday night when they host the Washington Capitals at Canadian Tire Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. Tonight's match-up will also be the 1,179th for Chris Phillips as an Ottawa Senator breaking the franchise's career games played mark set by former captain Daniel Alfredsson.

The Senators are coming off a 2-1 road loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Curtis Lazar scored the lone goal for Ottawa while Robin Lehner made 17 stops in defeat. The Sens currently sport a record of 20-20-9 and sit 11th in the Eastern Conference.

The Capitals travel to Ottawa after a 4-0 home win over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Goals from Troy Brouwer (x2), Nicklas Backstrom and Eric Fehr provided more than enough offense as Braden Holtby turned aside all 27 shots he faced to earn the shutout victory. Washington's record now sits at 26-15-10.

This is the second of three meetings between these two teams this season. The Captials won the first contest 2-1 back on December 22 and you can watch the full highlights from that game here...

The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate today at 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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