by Todd Anderson
Senators rookie forward Alexei Kaigorodov will make his NHL regular-season debut tomorrow night when Ottawa visits the Montreal Canadiens for their home-opener.
Senators head coach Bryan Murray didn't confirm whom Kaigorodov will replace in the lineup this morning after the Senators practised at Scotiabank Place, but he did say the Russian centre will play on a line with Chris Kelly and Patrick Eaves. Murray says it's a good time to get a look at the 23-year-old in regular-season competition.
"I planned for it this way a little while back," Murray said of his decision to insert Kaigorodov into the lineup on the road after a three-game home stand. "I talked to management about it. We want to put him in to see what he can do. For it to be on the road, that's a good place to start. (Kaigorodov) seems to be a little more open and I watch who he talks to. He seems to have a relationship with (Kelly and Eaves)."
Murray has also made the decision to give goaltender Ray Emery a second-straight start tomorrow. Emery was named the game's second star in a 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames last night at Scotiabank Place. He was outstanding in making 27 saves.
"He played real well," Murray said. "He gave us a chance last night, we have to go back with him."
Despite having the Senators' record drop to 1-3-0 this season, Murray took some positives out of last night's game.
"I didn't hit the panic button. We played harder and with good character. During a big part of the first and third periods we were good at getting the puck in (the offensive zone)."