We’ve got all kinds of pre-game notes and quotes along with an injury update on Matt Duchene and Bobby Ryan to help get you ready for tonight’s 7 p.m. start against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Not great news to kick things off today as Sens general manager Pierre Dorion confirmed this morning that Duchene (groin) and Ryan (concussion) have been placed on injured reserve. Both forwards exited Thursday’s game against the Canadiens after suffering their injuries and they could be absent for awhile.
Dorion shared that Duchene will be out “weeks” while there’s currently no timeline for Ryan’s return to action so the Sens have recalled forward Nick Paul from Belleville. This marks Paul’s third callup of the season already and he has appeared in 6 games this year in his previous stints.
“Honestly, I can’t complain,” said Paul about his frequent trips between Belleville and Ottawa this season. “It shows that they trust me and they like what they’ve seen so far so I have to keep working hard to make another good impression when I get the chance to play.”
Paul’s status for tonight hasn’t been confirmed yet (more on that below) but he’s eager to show that he can be part of the solution as the Sens look to deal with the loss of two key forwards for an extended period.
“The last thing you want is to see a teammate get injured,” he said. “It’s my job now to help fill whatever role they need me to. Whether it’s an offensive role, a defensive role, special teams…I just have to fill the role that the team asks me to.”
Sens head coach Guy Boucher wasn’t able to confirm his entire line-up for this evening with the key decision being whether to deploy the standard 12 forward / 6 defencemen format or utitlize his extra bluelines and go with 11 / 7. One thing he did share was that both Max Lajoie and Max McCormick will return to active duty tonight against the Penguins.
Lajoie has missed the team’s last 3 games with a minor injury while McCormick has been the odd man out for the past two weeks with his most recent appearance coming against the Dallas Stars on November 23rd.
While we await confirmation on the final game roster, here’s a look at the lines and pairings from this morning’s skate:
Tkachuk – White – Stone
Boedker – Tierney – Batherson
Dzingel – Smith – Paarjarvi
McCormick – Paul – Pyatt
Chabot – DeMelo
Lajoie – Ceci
Harpur – Jaros
Craig Anderson (11-11-3) makes his fifth consecutive start for the Senators as he looks to bust out of his current 2-game losing skid. Even with the loss of Duchene and Ryan up front, Anderson reaffirms that the team’s focus remains on strengthening their defensive game.
“The message over the past few weeks has been about team defence,” said Anderson. “We’re starting to make some strides in that direction and I think our penalty kill has been better. Everyday you have to find something in your game that you can get better at and hopefully we’re able to continue to do that.”
Where to Watch
It’s a 7 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre so grab some tickets and we’ll see you at the rink.
Can’t make it to the game? Grab some people and head over to Oliver’s Pub on campus at Carleton University where they’ll be serving up $4.25 cans of Molson Canadian during tonight’s game.