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Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 80 — Devils vs. Senators

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

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

4:45 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie is with Eric Gryba who talks about his new duck and goose call business, Capital Waterfowling.

4:30 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Devils.

Ottawa Senators


Hemsky - Spezza - Michalek

MacArthur - Turris - Stone

Hoffman - Zibanejad - Condra

Greening - Smith - Neil


Methot - Karlsson

Phillips - Ceci

Wiercioch - Gryba




New Jersey Devils


Ruutu - Zajac - Jagr

Brunner - Elias - Sislo

Sestito - Zubrus - Ryder

Carter - Gionta - Bernier


Greene - Fayne

Merrill - Zidlicky

Volchenkov - Harrold




4:00 PM: Robin Lehner gets the start in goal tonight. Here's what he had to say...

Senators forward Zack Smith offered his thoughts on Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday ahead of the Sens' game against the Devils. Here's what he had to say...

On the fan support:

It has been a tough year for everyone, the fans and players are disappointed but they're are still coming out and supporting us. Their support has been really good all year.

On the message to fans:

Expect a lot more from us next year. It has been a disappointing year but I can guarantee it'll be a lot more fun coming to the rink to see us play.

2:30 PM: Sens defenceman Cody Ceci passed along his thoughts on Fan Appreciation Day looking back on his first season with the team. Here's what he had to say...

On the support:

It has been really good, they're all great fans. They supported my when I came up and just being a local guy, it helps to have that support with all of those people behind you every night.

On the message to fans:

I enjoyed my time up and I'd like to thank them all for all the support they've given me. Hopefully I'm back next year and we can put together a better season for them, finish strong and aim for the playoffs.

12:45 PM: Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts to the media after the team's morning skate on Thursday. Here's what he had to say...

Today we need to say thank you to Sportsnet for 16 years of coverage with the Senators. I've only been here for three of them but they've done an outstanding job over time and as progress is progress we'll see it going forward.

On the lineup:

We're going to put Mike Hoffman and Colin Greening in the lineup and take out Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Matt Kassian for tonight's game. The defence will stay the same. Robin Lehner will be the goaltender.

On the lines with the lineup changes:

We're going to put Colin and Zack Smith and Chris Neil back together as a line and play Hoffman with Mika and Condra, to start the game anyways. We'll take it from there.

On Pageau:

We're not disappointing in how he played, it's a matter of Colin's ready to go back into the lineup and Hoffman has played here and played well. It's really just a matter of seeing them all before the end of the season. Jean-Gabriel played fine.

On preparing for the game with no implications:

I think every game means something in the standings, I know there's eight teams with x's so I understand that part of it but there's still points in the standings that are available. I always believe that you have to play and be prepared to play 82 games — not 80, not 78, not 76 — it's our Fan Appreciation Night for our fans that have been loyal to us and it's important to us that we come here and we play every game and try to give ourselves a chance to win. Tonight's no different than Saturday or Sunday. We have to come here and make sure we're giving ourselves a chance to win.

On if there are things he would do differently after this season:

Well when this year's over we certainly will but it's not over yet. We've still got three games to play and when that's all said and done we'll make some evaluations. Obviously every year there's things that change and personnel change whatever number every year. We'll evaluate that after game 82 and we'll put it in place in September.

On if they'd call up a B-Sen for a look:

At this point we've used our four call-ups so unless we get to an injury situation we won't be doing that... If they deserve it and if they earn it, we're not going to put them up here just to put them up here. If they've earned the opportunity, that's something we discussed as a group before we used the last call-up on Jean-Gabriel Pageau was did someone down there merit or deserve an opportunity to come up and play some NHL games. When we did the evaluation of it the people that were here were the ones who deserved to be here.

On if he'd want his players in the World Championships:

I think it's a personal thing but I'd encourage them to play. I think it's a great opportunity to, first of all, not only see the world but also to continue to play and get a chance to play with different people and interact with different coaching staffs and coaches and interact with different players. It's a great opportunity to learn that maybe you could do something a little bit better or maybe you can confirm how you do things is better compared to somebody else. I think it's a great way to grow, not only as a player or coach. anyone who has a chance to do it I would encourage them to take that opportunity just from a growth standpoint.

On if he'd be open to coaching in the World Championships:

When my 82 games are over if they call me, like I said, if I'm encouraging anyone to go, I would have to say yes.

On if he's on the hot seat:

I think my seat's hot every day since the first day I got here. I come in here every day and say what can I do, what can I do to make it better, have I done enough? So no, it's the same.

On if he has received any assurances for next season:

I haven't talked to anybody about that, we've got three games left to play. I've had no conversations and don't expect any until the season is over.

On what Ceci brings to Binghamton for their playoffs:

The experience of playing here, first of all, and the confidence of playing in the National Hockey League and going there. It's a great opportunity for him to continue to play and improve his game, he has improved a lot by playing in the National Hockey League and now he gets an opportunity to go there and help his original teammates. Pageau is going to be going there, Stone will be going back as well, it's a good opportunity for them to continue to play and have success. Any time you can do that it's a good thing.

10:00 AM: The Ottawa Senators host Fan Appreciation Night today at Canadian Tire Centre when they take on the New Jersey Devils.

The Senators are coming off of a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. A pair of goals from Jason Spezza and additional tallies from Ales Hemsky and Matt Kassian were the offence for the Sens while Craig Anderson made 45 stops to preserve the victory.

The Devils have put together a record of 34-29-16 in 79 games this season, including a 14-18-8 mark away from home. The 84 points places them sixth in the Eastern Conference's Metropolitan Division. They were eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday night.

The season series has been split between the Senators and Devils with each team winning a 5-2 game.

The Sens will have their morning skate at 10:15 AM and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts, Sens TV content, Instagram goodness and more.

Stay tuned!

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