Ottawa Senators (3-5-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (3-3-2)
RBC Center, 7 p.m.
TV: FS - Carolinas, TSN
The road trip is finally over the Canes are back home at the RBC Center for a showdown with the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa was projected to be one of the worst teams in the league this year but they are coming off two strong wins while the Canes have lost two straight including an ugly 5-3 loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. Carolina has also blown two consecutive 2-0 leads in those losses and it can be traced back to them not giving a full 60 minute effort. Whether it was due to them sitting on a lead or committing one stupid penalty after another, the team has had trouble with keeping leads this season and this Ottawa team's most recent win came in a last minute comeback. If the Canes gameplan is anything similar to the last two, then a repeat of that may occur. *knocks on wood*
Some notes for tonight's game is that Anthony Stewart will not play tonight and Zach Boychuk was recalled in his place. I don't know where Boychuk will be in the lineup but I'm hoping he will see more than fourth line minutes because that will do little to benefit the team. This team is struggling to find wingers on the first line and I think Boychuk deserves a shot there. I mean, what does the team got to lose at this point? Ruutu, Ponikarovsky, Skinner and LaRose all struggled there and Staal seemed to work well with Boychuk when he was up with the big club last year. It makes sense to give him another chance there. Also, it will be a good chance to see if Boychuk will ever be a top six winger on this team or not. We already have Brett Sutter on the team to play fourth line minutes, someone who can play those minutes in Tlusty and a two-way forward in LaRose who can take over on the third line. Let's give Boychuk a chance.
On the Senators side of things, they are going to be without Daniel Alfredsson and Petr Regin tonight. Making what is a pretty weak forward corps even more depleted. Kaspars Daugavins was recalled to take Alfredsson's place on the second line. He isn't one of Ottawa's best prospects but he did play for Team Latvia in the Olympics. I'm sure the announcers on whichever feed you watch the game on will remind you of that.
Lines and analysis after the jump