The Sens kick off their 2017 NHL Playoff series against the Boston Bruins tonight at Canadian Tire Centre. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
It's good news on the injury front for the Sens who will be getting an injection of top players back in time for the post-season. General manager Pierre Dorion confirmed on Monday that both Erik Karlsson and Zack Smith will re-enter the line-up for Game #1 after failing to finish the regular season on the active roster. Marc Methot, who has missed nearly a month with a finger injury, also appears close to returning and could suit up for tonight's opening game.
Here's a series preview via the good folks over at NHL.com...
Video: Senators vs Bruins First Round Preview
It was a successful year for the Senators, ending with a perfect 4-0-0 record against the Bruins which marked the first time in franchise history that the Sens swept a season-series versus Boston. In fact, going back to the 2015-16 season, Ottawa is currently riding a 6-game winning streak against the Bruins.
These teams last faced off just 6 days ago in Boston with the Sens earning a 2-1 shootout victory and punching their ticket to the post-season as a result. A second period taly from Alex Burrows was enough to send things into the extra frame where the game was ultimately decided by a lone shootout goal from Kyle Turris. Craig Anderson was solid in net for the Sens, turning aside 28 of the 29 shots he faced as well as all 3 shootout attempts to earn the decision.
Video: Condensed Game: Senators @ Bruins
Even though their paths cross regularly during the regular season, this series marks their first ever playoff meeting.
Sens to watch
It's been a rollercoaster of emotions this season for Craig Anderson but his play on the ice has been consistently stellar all season long and he enters the playoffs on a 3-game winning streak. Anderson's clutch performances down the stretch earned him the NHL's top weekly honour for the third time this year as he finished the week with a glowing .943 Sv% and a miniscule 1.44 GAA.
It's been a difficult and emotional season for Anderson, whose wife Nicholle went through cancer treatment, with the goaltender going on indefinite leave to be with her. He returned to the Senators on Feb. 11. Anderson was 13-5-3 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .929 save percentage after returning. He is 12-14 with a 2.35 GAA and .933 save percentage in 27 NHL playoff games.
It seems kind of obvious but you should always keep your eyes peeled for the captain. Erik Karlsson just completed another historic season for the Senators and should be in line for consideration for his third James Norris Memorial Trophy. In 29 career playoff games, Karlsson has recorded 4 goals and 15 assists.
The Red Zone is back and will be absolutely rocking before every Sens home game. So if you are coming to tonight's game, aim to get here a little early and take in some of the pre-game activities starting at 5 p.m.
Click here for more details about the Red Zone.
Can't make it to CTC tonight? Catch all the action on Sportsnet and TVAS2 or if you're looking for a great spot in the city to watch the game check out the Molson Canadian Watch Parties at Sens House. Click here to make a reservation.