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Senators look to fend off Smyth and the Oilers tonight

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Edmonton Oilers alternate captain Ryan Smyth participates in the pre-game skate this morning at Scotiabank Place. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC

by Todd Anderson

With the Edmonton Oilers desperately trying to get back into a playoff position, the Ottawa Senators have been preparing for a determined effort from tonight's opponents during the last few days of practice. Senators head coach Bryan Murray spoke about what type of game he expects tonight at Scotiabank Place.

"There will be lots of speed in the game, lots of puck pressure. It's going to be skill galore," Murray said. "They're a hungry club. No. 1 you expect Ryan Smyth to be stuck in front of the net all the time. (Ales) Hemsky is going to have the puck a lot, and they're going to play tough on the blueline. Through their speed and puck movement they're going to create scoring chances, and we have to counter that."

Senators alternate captain Wade Redden said Smyth will be a focus for the Ottawa defencemen.

"He's always been a pain in the butt. He has to be a target for us to shut down. We don't want to be in the box all night but we have to clear the front of the net."

Senators forward Mike Comrie is looking forward to facing Edmonton, a team that he started his NHL career with in 2000.

"I still have lots of great friends on that team. It will be nice to try and beat them."

Murray looks for 600th win tonight
Murray enters tonight's game with 599 career victories. He would become only the fifth coach in NHL history to win 600. Tonight's match is also his 1,199th behind an NHL bench.

"It would be a nice achievement and a real compliment to a lot of people who played for me," Murray said of the possibility of winning his 600th game.

Roger's House telethon
Starting at 6:30 p.m. tonight Roger's Sportsnet will broadcast the Ottawa Senators Foundation Telethon for Roger's House, presented by the OutCare Foundation. Fans attending the game can also donate to the telethon. Click here for more information and to learn how you can make a donation.

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