Stay on top of the news of the day with the Gameday Journal ahead of tonight's clash between the Senators and Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Senators head coach Paul MacLean passed along his thoughts and updates after Friday afternoon's practice in Tampa Bay. Here's what he had to say...
Senators goaltender Robin Lehner is set to make his season debut on Saturday night in Tampa Bay when the Senators take on the Lightning at 7 p.m. He talked about getting going on Saturday night at the Amalie Arena.
"It's the first game of the season for me and it's always fun playing against good teams and they have one over there. It's going to be good."
He'll also square off against friend and former Senators goaltender Ben Bishop. Does that add anything to the game?
"It's fun before the game but let's be honest, when you're on the ice you kind of zone out and play against the puck," said Lehner. "It's fun to play against good teams so it'll be a good challenge for us."
Sens captain Erik Karlsson had a fun announcement for fans on Friday afternoon and took to Twitter to share the news.
I just purchased 1000 C's to give away to the first 1000 fans that have already bought my jersey. Go to the sens store starting Tuesday.:)— Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65) October 10, 2014
Felt like I wanted to give something back to our amazing fans before opening night in Ottawa. #GoSENSGo— Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65) October 10, 2014
In sum, the first 1000 fans who already own a licensed Karlsson jersey can get a free "C" put on courtesy of the man himself by coming down to the Canadian Tire Centre Sens Store. The offer takes effect on Tuesday, October 14.
"It's something I came up with. I had a lot of people reaching out and saying they wished they had bought my jersey a couple of days later or a couple of weeks later so they could have had the C on it," said Karlsson. "I thought it was a small thing for me to do to give back to the fans who have always appreciated me. It's a small token of appreciation... They had to order all of the Cs in so starting Tuesday the first thousand fans will get it done for free, they'll press it and make it look good."
Senators centreman Kyle Turris broke the goal column goose egg right away in 2014-15, scoring his first goal of the year on a beautiful wrist shot from the high slot on a 2-on-1. Kyle gave his account of the goal after the game.
"It was a great play by Clarkie, the one-touch off the wall to beat that defenceman. I was trying to come through with speed and create a little 2-on-1 with Bobby there," said Turris. "I felt the d-man was playing more to Bobby and was going to put his stick in the lane to make it a tough pass. Rinne is a pretty good goalie so I tried to give him a bit of a look off to Bobby to make him think pass and I was lucky enough to put it in."
The Sens return to action on Saturday night against Tampa Bay after falling by a 3-2 score in Nashville on Thursday.
They're back! The Ottawa Senators return to NHL regular season action tonight at 8 p.m. (ET) when they take on the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts on the opening of the NHL season. Here's what he had to say...
As the most veteran member of the Sens dressing room, Chris Phillips was drafted first overall by the Senators just one year after 2013 first round pick Curtis Lazar was born. Phillips looked back on his first NHL game when asked about the opportunity ahead of Lazar.
"It was an exciting time. My first game was in Montreal and I had a lot of family there," said Phillips. "Lots of stuff leads up to getting to the NHL — being drafted, coming to camp but you're not there until you play that first game. Being in that lineup, it's a very memorable experience."
Phillips has played 1,143 games since making his Senators debut on October 1, 1997.
Senators goaltender Craig Anderson completed a solid pre-season campaign, recording a 2-1 record between the pipes and posting a 1.91 goals-against average alongside a .922 save percentage. Coming off a year that was tough on Senators goaltending and defenders, Anderson spoke about the team's effort throughout training camp and what has been a productive pre-season.
"I think this year was a good camp. We had a better schedule than we did last year. We were able to get on the road right off the bat with a bunch of guys and come together in St. John's and I think at the end we were able to get a couple of games in with our team," said Anderson. "Last year we were having a split squad game three days before camp ended. That threw a wrench in our gameplan last year."
"This year things have gone the way we've wanted them to, we've had a lot of systems practices, gone over things that were our Achilles heel last year and we're moving forward with it. What it comes down to is we've got to be better than the guy across from us when we line up Thursday night."
With that systems work in place, Anderson thinks there is progress being made in the team's focus areas heading into the season — primarily on the defensive side of the game.
"There's going to be mistakes from time to time throughout the game and my job is there to help cover it up. We obviously need some help from the other guys around," said Anderson. "I believe headed in the right direction, we're moving on the right track. Our guys are really working hard at being a better defensive unit and playing together."
The Sens open their season on Thursday night in Nashville against the Predators. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (ET).
Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts on the team's opening night roster and more after practice on Monday night. Here's what he had to say...