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Gameday Journal: Game 77 - Lightning vs. Senators

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

2:30 PM: And here's a look at tonight's projected line-ups...

Click to enlarge

LIGHTNING

Forwards

Alex Killorn – Valtteri Filppula – Steven Stamkos

Ondrej Palat – Vladislav Namestnikov – Nikita Kucherov

Jonathan Drouin – Cedric Paquette – Ryan Callahan

Brenden Morrow – Brian Boyle – J.T. Brown

Defence

Nikita Nesterov – Anton Stralman

Slater Koekkoek – Matthew Carle

Mark Barberio – Luke Witkowski

Goaltenders

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: None


1:30 PM: Get the full rundown on tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning with Sens TV's Pre-Game Report...


12:30 PM: Sens TV has some post-skate comments to pass along prior to tonight's 7:30 p.m. start against the Lightning. Starting first with the coach...

On if there will be any line-up changes tonight:

No.

On if he felt the last game in Detroit was his team's most complete of the season:

Yes. The game starts with energy and you have to move your feet. You have to play 5, 5 and 5. You have to be through pucks and compete. You have to get pucks to the paint and you have to be there with the puck. So I checked all the above.

On the team's urgency in their last game:

A lot of that has to do with energy. This is a tough time of year and if you talk to any coach in this league they're going to see a difference in their team. You call it urgency, I call it energy. Call it whatever you want.

An update on Chris Neil:

He's cleared for contact so now it's just a matter of getting some contact in in practice. So he's real close.

On Michalek's injury status:

He pushed it a little bit and it didn't feel good. So yeah...he's not so close.

On playing the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight:

If they're not first in the East they're real close. You're going to have to play like we did in Detroit and eliminate the time and space. We're going to need everybody for 60 minutes.


Sens captain Erik Karlsson also took a few moments to offer up some pre-game thoughts:


Starting goaltender Andrew Hammond spoke with the media as well and you can watch his pre-game comments here:


12:00 PM: After today's morning skate, we caught up with Mark Stone. Here are some of his thoughts...

On the injury that Drew Miller sustained:

I was pretty happy that nothing happened to his eye. He just got some pretty severe stitching which is definitely better than losing an eye that's for sure. I just hope he has a speedy recovery and I heard he might actually be playing tonight which is great to hear.

On being aware of the Calder Trophy consideration he has been garnering:

I'm just trying to keep producing and help this team make the playoffs so if that comes with it...I'm more than happy. We're still in a dog fight going forward here.

On leading the league in takeaways:

I take pride in it but I don't think it's one of those things you're going to be that proud of. It's a thing that I work hard at but there are a ton of good players who play the same role. I mean if you look at Datsyuk he's been doing it for the last 10 years and it's incredible the way he does it so you just have to learn from those guys.

On setting goals prior to the season:

Early in the season, I was more worried about being in the league. I had only played like 20 games coming in to this year but as the season goes on I saw my role increase and that's when I started to put pressure on myself to produce. Now that I'm in the top 6, it's just a given that I know I need to produce on a night to night basis.

On facing the Lightning tonight:

They're a quick team. They use their speed really well and they've got a ton of guys that are producing. From top to bottom, they seem like they have a bunch of lines that are able to score. For us, it's just about trying to play our defense in their zone and try not to let them into our zone.


11:30 AM: The coach said he liked "everything" about his team's game in Detroit so with that no line-up changes for tonight...


10:40 AM: The team's skate is underway. Boys are flying this morning...

The #Sens have hit the ice at CTC for today's morning skate. Real good jump so far.

A photo posted by Ottawa Senators (@senators) on


7:30 AM: The Ottawa Senators get set to host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Canadian Tire Centre tonight. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Sens are coming off of a huge 2-1 shootout victory against the Red Wings on Tuesday night. Clarke MacArthur scored the lone marker for the Sens in regulation while Mika Zibanejad, Kyle Turris and Mark Stone sealed the game with goals against Petr Mrazek in the skills competition. The NHL's First Star of the Month of March, Andrew Hammond, was solid in Detroit but needed to make just 16 saves to earn the decision. The Sens improved their record on the season to 38-26-12 and currently sit 9th in the Eastern Conference. They trail the Boston Bruins for the final playoff wildcard spot by just 3 points and hold a game in hand.

The Lightning travel to Ottawa after a 3-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday. Ryan Callahan's second period powerplay goal was the only offence they could muster up against the Leafs while Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 25 shots in defeat. Tampa's record currently sits at 47-24-7 and they've clinched a birth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This is the fourth and final meeting between these two teams this season. In their most recent game, back on January 4th, Tyler Johnson's 2 goals proved to be the difference as the Lightning beat the Sens 4-2 in Ottawa. Catch the full highlights from that game here...

The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate shortly 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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