The Senators are in Minnesota tonight, for a rare away game with the Wild, looking to rebound from the 4-3 OT loss to Atlanta on Monday night. Since that game, we have lost ground on many of the teams we're chasing for 8th spot, and a playoff spot seems quite unlikely at this point, unless they can somehow pull off another improbable 11 game win streak like last season.
If they want to get back to the post season, it starts with a strong performance tonight. The game is in the central timezone so puck drop is just after 8pm tonight, thought I'd give you all a heads up.
The big story for the Sens tonight is that Brian Lee will draw back in the lineup tonight after sitting 25 games, as Matt Carkner has a small injury. It doesn't hurt that Lee is back in his home state tonight and will have family and friends on hand to see him play. Even CCC said it played into his decision. I for one am happy he draws back in, since I've been feeling bad for the guy and I think he has some potential still. For some reason I see him having a good game too.
In net, Pascal Leclaire gets the start after Elliott had a mediocore game on Monday vs the ATL. Other than that, no lineup changes tonight, though Kovalev is battling the flu apparently. One thing to look for is the father's of the players are on this 2 game roadie before the holidays, which usually bodes well performace wise, as the guys wanna impress dad.
Local Flavor: The Wild have 2 former Sens on their team, in Martin Havlat and Matt Cullen. Unfortunately for the Wild, Cullen is out with an injury tonight, but Havlat has had a nice season so far, and still has a lot of fans in Ottawa.
Prediction: The Sens need a win badly, and need to get on a little holiday roll here if we have any hope to make the 8th seed. With the dad's on the trip, I can't pick against the Sens and Brian Lee tonight. Sens break out of their slump in a big way and win 5-2