Perhaps my title is jumping the gun a little, as there is (edit: was) a chance Brian Gionta may not lace up tonight as planned, but his optimism is a good sign. Roman Hamrlik, for his part, probably won't be ready until the Habs hit Florida. He and Paul Mara were kept on the ice the longest today, according to the report on CJAD this afternoon. Back in the nation's capital, where many traveling Habs' fans are bound to make the trip to tonight's matchup, the Sens are without captain Daniel Alfredsson, Nick Foligno, and (Rookie's "best friend") Jason Spezza, and are 5-5-0 in their last ten games.
St. Isidore-raised Benoit Pouliot plays his first career game in Ottawa tonight while Jaroslav Halak merits his fifth start in a row, looking to be five for five (but preferably not to be pelted with shots as he has been as of late. He's made a grand total of 180 saves over that stretch).
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- My own "best friend" Alex Kovalev has been responsive to his Team Russia "snub" as of late, winning the game in the shootout for the Sens in Buffalo, 3-2.
- Recently-engaged Mike Fisher had the other goal in said shootout, and isn't just your regular everyday pretty-faced scoring threat. His two-way ability has one big highlight: physicality. He knows how to hit, when to hit, and who.
- Chris Neil brings the reverse argument to the table, providing his brand of intimidation with a scoring touch. Coming off a knee injury that kept him out 14 games, he scored in his second game back. One of his other four goals this season was in the last game against Montreal.
- Jarkko Ruutu is also an underestimated offensive threat, particularly in the shootout.
- You thought I'd forget him, didn't you? Milan Michalek leads the team with 16 goals, two of them shorthanded.