Monday, December 05, 2011
GDP #27: Sens v Tampa Bay
The Senators return home after a mini road trip, looking to snap their 2 game losing streak tonight as they take on their expansion cousins in the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first of four clashes this season. Ottawa sits in 9th place in the conference, while Tampa sits a surprising 13th at the moment. To make matters worse Tampa has lost 3 in a row and 5 of 7 heading into this one. They need a win badly so get ready for the trap at SBP ce soir.
A few changes for the Sens as Nikita Filatov will sit out tonight as a healthy scratch. I'm not quite sure why as I thought he gave a solid effort in the games he's played, but I guess he just isn't producing offense at a high enough pace for the Sens liking. Bobby Butler will take his place on the first line tonight with Spezza and Greening. Kuba is still out (thank god). Craig Anderson starts in net for Ottawa and Dwayne Roloson is expected to start for The Bay.
Here's a video preview of the game tonight if you're lazy and don't feel like reading tonight. Can't blame ya.
This game will also feature 2 of the NHL's top 3 goal scorers, with the Sens Milan Michalek and Tampa's Steven Stamkos both at 16, good enough for a share of the league lead with Phil Kessel. It could make for an interesting personal battle tonight. Just a little something to look out for as well.
Local Flavor: Former Sens player and fan favorite Ryan Shannon makes his first trip back to SBP tonight since leaving the Sens in the offseason. Don't forget Steve Downie is on Tampa, who basically careered former Sen Dean McAmmond with a cheap shop in the preseason a few years ago.
Prediction: Both teams need this one bad to stop their losing skids before they become a serious problem, but Tampa needs it more. They were expected to be a contender this year and the Sens weren't, so they're udner a lot of pressure to turn the ship around and fast. If the Sens can stay out of the penalty box and not allow guys like Stamkos, Lecavalier, St Louis, Malone, Hedman etc to burn them with the man advantage, then we should have a good shot. I say the Sens get it together and win 3-2.
As always you can follow me on twitter for live updates and photos from inside SBP - @SensTown