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Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 54 — Lightning vs. Senators

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

5:00 PM: Get set for puck drop with Gord Wilson and Sens TV.

4:30 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie talks to the tallest Senator, Jared Cowen, about taking on the tallest goalie tandem in hockey.

3:00 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Senators and Lightning.

Ottawa Senators


MacArthur - Turris - Ryan

Michalek - Spezza - Zibanejad

Greening - Smith - Neil

Conacher - Da Costa - Condra


Cowen - Karlsson

Methot - Gryba

Wiercioch - Ceci




Tampa Bay Lightning


Palat - Johnson - St-Louis

Killorn - Filppula - Purcell

Kucherov - Thompson - Brown

Malone - Crombeen


Hedman - Salo

Carle - Gudas

Barbeiro - Brewer





2:15 PM: Clarke MacArthur offered up his thoughts on what Tampa brings to Canadian Tire Centre tonight.

On fixing the power play at home:

Yeah, the power play at home. We've got to simplify obviously. On the road we seem to have that extra little bit of patience. Whether we're getting extra breaks or not we have better patience on the road, better passing and we need to find a way to do that at home. Special teams are such a big part of the game, especially in these last 30. We've got to find a way to be better at home, there's no question.

On Tampa's success:

They're solid all the way through their lineup. Even with Stamkos being out they've kind of picked up the pieces there, they've got a great D core and great goaltending. I think in Tampa anytime you're going to a shootout against Bishop it's going to be an uphill battle. There's not many holes. I liked the compete level we had in that game and going into Columbus we kind of went back to that grind game and we're going to win games by one a lot, that's how we play. We've got to be ready for a close one tonight.

On the challenge of facing big goalies in games and shootouts:

I, personally, am 0-for-14 in the shootout so I have no insight to that. It's something where you've got to get him to move and open him up. He's so big and I think the tries that we had, we had some good tries on him, Spezz hit the post, I think he had him beat. It's about getting him moving, he's such a big body. Not that I would know. That's what I would guess.

Sens TV also caught up with Clarke here:

2:00 PM: Here's Marc Methot on tonight's game with Tampa Bay.

On the implications of a win tonight:

The way I see it you've got to win out every game. You're at that time of year now, we're after New Years, where everyone is making that strong push for a playoff spot. Ultimately that's where I want to be, I had so much fun with it last season, I'd love to get a chance to play again this year.

On the importance of games making them easier to play:

In terms of a motivational factor I don't think that's an issue ever. When it comes down to it maybe now that there's a bit more on the line you're a little more focused, you realize the importance of it, but I'd like to think we're trying to be as prepared as possible from the start of the year.

On Cody Ceci:

He's impressive, I remember when I was his age I was still trying to figure it out in the American League. For some of us it takes a little longer and I'm happy for him. The fact that he's from Ottawa like myself shows there's some good homegrown talent coming out of here. He's very mature for his age, his attitude is always real positive and he's always ready to listen so it's nice to see and he's a great player.

On Tampa Bay succeeding without stars:

It's funny how that works, we had the same problem last year so to speak and we found a way to win a lot of those games. I think there's a little bit of desperation that comes into your game and that nothing to lose attitude. Teams seem to thrive off that stuff and they're playing with confidence despite the odd injury or a lack of Stamkos in the lineup. They're doing the right things right now and they're rolling and it's going to be a good challenge for us.

12:30 PM: Here's what Paul MacLean had to say after today's morning skate.

It's nice to see everybody wearing purple for DIFD day, it's a great cause.

On the key to beating Tampa:

I think the big thing against these guys in the two games we played down there was they started better than we did and I think the start for us is important. I think the neutral zone is an important part of the game against them.

On Chris Phillips:

He has a lower body injury that's coming around, he's listed as day-to-day now, he hasn't practiced for two days but today there was some improvement in it and we'll see where it is tomorrow before we leave on the trip to see if he'll go with us. We'll have to expand on it after that but today is a big day for him, there was improvement, we'll see how tomorrow is and make a decision then.

On Craig Anderson's form:

Well we have felt that our goaltending has been one of the most consistent things we've had all season long. We've had some ups and downs in our defence and our defensive side of the game with how we've turned over pucks but we've felt that our goaltenders have been pretty consistent. Craig's the number one goalie and we feel that he has given us that type of goaltending.

On if Bishop intimidates the Sens:

I don't think he's there yet, I think you have to play more than three times to have that be the case but he has played very well against us too. It's important that we have to make it more difficult for him.

On Tampa Bay's success:

I think they've gotten good goaltending and their goaltending I think has been the difference in their team but I don't watch all of their games. The games we've played against them the scoring chances have been a little bit in our favour but the goals haven't been in our favour. In the games we've played them, their goaltender has been a star in both of the games or all three of the games. I think that has been what's good for them.

10:30 AM: The Sens are on the ice at Canadian Tire Centre for their morning skate.

10:00 AM: The Ottawa Senators will look to try and spark another run in Ottawa tonight when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Senators earned a 3-2 victory in Columbus on Tuesday night. Stéphane Da Costa scored a pair of goals, Jason Spezza netted the winner and Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots to lead the team to a big win over an opponent they are in the midst of a playoff battle with.

The Lightning come to Ottawa after a 3-2 loss in Toronto on Saturday night. Despite the setback, they still sit second in the Atlantic Division with a 31-17-5 record through 53 games, good for 67 points. They have posted a 15-11-2 mark in 28 games away from Tampa Bay.

In their two meetings this season the Sens are 0-1-1 with both contests taking place in Florida.

The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate at 10:15 AM at Canadian Tire Centre 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.

Stay tuned!

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