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Gameday Journal: Game 53 - Penguins vs. Senators

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

6:15 PM: Here's some crucial information ahead of this tonight's game against the Penguins...

Jersey: Heritage Black

Television: TSN5, RDS2

Radio: TSN 1200, Unique FM 94,5


3:15 PM: Friendly reminder that tonight's a #tbt night and the Sens will be rocking their heritage jerseys. Time to get excited...


2:15 PM: And from NHL.com, here's a look at tonight's projected line-ups...

Click to enlarge

PENGUINS

Forwards

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – David Perron

Blake Comeau – Evgeni Malkin – Patric Hornqvist

Nick Spaling – Brandon Sutter – Beau Bennett

Steve Downie – Maxim Lapierre – Craig Adams

Defence

Paul Martin – Kris Letang

Rob Scuderi – Simon Despres

Derrick Pouliot – Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Zach Sill


2:00 PM: Get the full rundown on tonight's game with the Pre-Game Report from Sens TV...


12:30 PM: Sens TV was all over today's morning skate. Up first, head coach Dave Cameron talks to the media ahead of tonight's game against the Penguins...

Line-up changes for tonight:

Ceci's in. Wiercioch is out. Bobby Ryan will be a game-time decision but I think he's ready to go.

On Cody Ceci's recent play:

There's been no issue, he didn't come out because of his play. He came out because I'm rotating young guys and trying to get a handle on everybody. The deadline is coming up and I'm probably going to get asked questions and I want to be able to give answers.

On Ceci's confidence:

Everybody's confidence gets shaken when you're losing games. It doesn't matter if you're a veteran or a young player. You just tell them that confidence is about playing your game. That's what it is. Young guys are always going to have their confidence shaken, it's just a growing thing. Play your game.

On explaining what happened between the first and second period in Buffalo:

I don't know if someone passed out stupid pills in there or what? I think what it is is a mindset. If you look back at the games we've lost prior, we were getting chances, we were getting looks and then we had a good first period in Buffalo. To me, what was happening is the switch went on and they thought they were going to score their way out of this funk and we're not there as a team. We're not going to score our way out. I think in that second period, we had 5 forechecks. So that means that we were turning pucks over, we weren't physical and we weren't getting out of our own end and if you don't do those things you have no hope of scoring.

On the team's strategy going in to tonight's game against the Penguins:

We just need to worry about our game. It's going to come down to how we play. Pittsburgh's a very good team; world-class players, playing real well right now. We better be on our game and we better be playing right from the get-go.


And speaking of Cody Ceci, you can watch his media scrum here...


Finally, we caught up with Zack Smith who joined the team for today's optional skate for the first time since injuring his wrist on December 13th...


11:30 AM: We caught up with Sens forward Mark Stone after the team's optional skate today to talk a bit about tonight's match-up against the Penguins...

On reducing the mental lapses against Pittsburgh tonight:

If you look at their roster, they're going to make you pay if you make those kinds of mistakes. The offensive production they get from not only their top 6 but their top 12 forwards, it seems like everyone chips in. I think for us we just need to play our game; a tight d-zone and keep it simple.

On producing more offence:

We just need to be harder. A lot of our chances have been right in tight and just not being able to put them in. I think it's a case of needing to be harder on our sticks and harder on the puck and eventually they're going to go in, it's just a matter of sticking with it and bearing down.

On staying positive:

I'd be lying if I said we don't get frustrated when we hit a post but at the same time it's about getting over it as quick as you can. We had a bunch of chances for a lot of different guys and just haven't been able to capitalize but we just need to keep working and not get frustrated.


10:30 AM: A quick line-up not from the coach from yesterday...


9:30 AM: The Ottawa Senators get back to action on Thursday night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. Tonight's match-up is also a #ThrowbackThursday game which means the Sens will be sporting their Heritage jerseys and hot dogs/small pops are just $1 before 7 p.m.

The Senators are coming off a 2-1 road win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek provided the offence for Ottawa while Robin Lehner stopped 35 of 36 to earn the decision. The Sens' record currently sits at 21-22-9 good for 11th in the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins travel to Ottawa after a 4-1 home win over the Detroit Red Wings last night. Goals from Patric Hornqvist, Blake Comeau, David Perron and Nick Spaling provided more than enough offence as Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 23 shots to earn the victory. Pittsburgh's record now sits at 31-15-8.

This is the second of three meetings between these two teams this season. The Penguins won the first contest 3-2 back on December 6th 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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