A pair of players return from injury, details on Chris Wideman's expected deployment and more before the Sens get set to host the Penguins tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Some good news right off the hop, Sens head coach Guy Boucher confirmed that both Bobby Ryan and Mark Borowiecki will return to the line-up tonight. The pair rejoined the team for practice yesterday and have been given the green light to return to game action.
Zack Smith remains the lone notable injury for the Sens and, as a result, Nick Paul was recalled from Belleville but isn't expected to draw into the line-up against Pittsburgh.
Speaking of the line-up, you may have noticed defenceman Chris Wideman taking some shifts at forward last game against the Avalanche. Well according to the coach, he'd like to see Wideman's trial as a forward extended and will deploy the defender on a line with Nate Thompson and Alex Burrows versus the Penguins.
"You don't just want bodies in your line-up...you want able bodies," said Boucher earlier today. "That's what Wideman gave us last game and it really surprised me how good he was."
The coach went on to praise Wideman's dependability as a forward, noting they couldn't find a single mistake in his first game up front, and hinted that he may even use him in a penalty killing role with Smith sidelined.
"With Wideman being a defenceman, he defends better than any forward," Boucher said. "That gives us the possibility to try him as a forward on the penalty kill."
Video: Nov 16: Sens vs. Pens - Coach Pregame Media
It's tough for any player to adapt to a new position, especially at the NHL level, but Wideman is approaching the task as an opportunity and understands that this type of assignment is in the best interest of the team.
"The coach came to me and said: 'This is where I need you'," shared Wideman after the morning skate. "For me to walk into this locker room where there are 20+ guys that come to work every day and try to help this team win, how can I be anything but accepting?"
"It's not about me personally, it's about the team," Wideman continued. "That's the way I look at it and it's an opportunity."
Lots of moving parts today with the returns and reassignments so here's a look at what the forward lines and defence pairings have looked like at practice over the past two days...
Hoffman - Brassard - Stone
Dzingel - Duchene - Ryan
Pyatt - Pageau - DiDomenico
Burrows - Thompson - Wideman
Claesson - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Oduya
Borowiecki - Ceci
Craig Anderson (7-3-3) gets the nod in net for the Senators tonight. Anderson has 3 wins in his last 4 appearances, including a pair of victories in Sweden against the Avalanche, but faces a tough Penguins team that has given him some problems in the past. Mike Condon backs him up.