We break down the Sens' line-up leading up to their Game #1 match-up with the New York Rangers tonight at Canadian Tire Centre.
A lot has been made about the Rangers rolling with four lines that can create offence leading up to this series but the Sens are hoping that their quality depth up from can help offset that advantage.
"They're a depth team with a lot of speed," Erik Karlsson told the media prior to Game #1. "They play the game fast so it's going to be a good challenge for us."
The Sens could be deploying the same line-up as Game #6 against the Bruins but that depends on the availability of Tom Pyatt who remains a game-time decision. Pyatt was knocked out of Game #4 in Boston and has been listed as day-to-day ever since but did return to practicing with the team during their short break between rounds. He was an extra during line rushes at today's morning skate but I wouldn't count that as any indication either way to be honest.
One player who was absent again from the team's skate was Mark Borowiecki who's been sidelined with a lower body injury since Game #2 versus Boston after tumbling into the boards awkwardly. His status has also been listed as day-to-day but the coach has officially ruled him out for tonight's game.
Sticking with defence, it looks like it will be the same group that mopped up the series against the Bruins. Ben Harpur and Fredrik Claesson will remain in the line-up tonight while Chris Wideman will be the extra for the second consecutive game.
Our projected line-up is solely based on the line rushes from this morning's game day skate. As mentioned above, it's entirely possible that Tom Pyatt draws in for the opening game against the Rangers so stay tuned on details about that after warm-up. Until then, here's what we've got...
Craig Anderson has historically been a problem for the Rangers. He has a life-time regular season record of 10-5-3 against the Blueshirts with a goals against average of 1.74, a save percentage of .944 and 4 shutouts in 19 starts. While those numbers versus New York are off the charts, his playoff statistics are also quite impressive. The Sens ultimately came up short against the Rangers in Game #7 of the 2012 second round series but not for lack of effort on Anderson's part who saw only slight increases in his career numbers versus New York (.933 Sv%, 2.01 GAA and a shutout).
Anderson's counterpart in this series is no slouch either. While Henrik Lundqvist owns a losing life-time record against Ottawa (a combined 19-21-3 in the regular season and playoffs), his individual numbers rival those of Anderson's. Lundqvist is also fresh off a dominant first round series against the Montreal Canadiens where he was beaten just 11 times in 6 games.