Carolina Hurricanes (8-12-4) at Ottawa Senators (10-10-4)
Scotiabank Place 5 p.m.
TV: FS-Carolinas, Sportsnet Ottawa
What was once a blue line that was rich in depth and talent has begun to dwindle down as Jay Harrison has joined the list of injured defensemen right as Joni Pitkanen re-joined the lineup. At the very least we can hope for the powerplay to get a spark as one of their top performers is back but if you take a look at the “November Powerplay Woes” post I just made, you’ll see that Harrison was one of the team’s more consistent players with the man advantage. We just can’t win, can we? I’m just happy to have Pitkanen back in the lineup as this powerplay needs all the help it can get.
Tonight we face an Ottawa Senators team that’s coming off a beatdown at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night and have been the opposite of what most people expected from them this year. You would think a team that is full of rookies and backstopped by Craig Anderson would be terrible possession-wise and buoyed by a strong save percentage but it’s the other way around for the Sens. Although, the fact that he’s playing behind a young, inexperienced defense probably isn’t helping. Ottawa’s goaltending usually tends to struggle as they’ve been through 11 goalies since the lockout and they have a cumulative save percentage of .905. They’ve also made a few mistakes when it comes to overpaying for goalies but that’s another issue for another day.
Lines, defense pairings & more after the jump
Skinner – Staal – Ruutu
Ponikarovsky – Jokinen – LaRose
Tlusty – Sutter – Dwyer
Stewart – Brent – Sutter
Pitkanen – Gleason
Allen – Faulk
McBain – Joslin
Greening – Spezza – Michalek
Foligno – Da Costa – Alfredsson
Daugavins – Smith – Condra
Konopka – Winchester – Butler
Gonchar – Cowen
Kuba – Karlsson
Phillpis – Rundblad
- Kaberle is scratched for this game and all I have to say is congrats to the complaning fans because they finally got their wish. I still feel that this is a bad move even if his contributions have been disappointing so far.
- Boucher was going to be the starter but he was hit by a puck while sitting on the bench in the Winnpeg game on Friday and apparently can’t go tonight.
- I’m not completely sure wht the defense pairings will look like with Pitkanen in the lineup but I hope it doesn’t affect Faulk’s minutes too much.
- Keep an eye out for Kaspars Daugavins on that third line for Ottawa. Thought he was going to be only a call-up but he’s managed to stick around on the roster full-time and has played some pretty good hockey during his time there. His linemates Zack Smith and Erik Condra have been forces at driving possession, too.