Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 38 — Coyotes vs. Senators
12:10 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie talks with Cory Conacher about Christmas and his OT winner against Phoenix in October.
Conacher - Spezza - Michalek
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Kassian - Pageau - Condra
Greening - Smith - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Cowen - Gryba
Kennedy - Hanzal - Vrbata
Boedker - Vermette - Moss
Klinkhammer - Ribeiro - Brule
Chipchura - Halpern - Szwarz
Murphy - Ekman-Larsson
Yandle - Morris
Stone - Klesla
11:45 AM: Here's what Paul MacLean had to say ahead of today's game...
Mika won't play today, he's still day-to-day with an upper body injury and we're going to keep him out today.
On lineup changes:
Not from yesterday. Craig is the goalie and Gryba is in for Corvo. Conacher will play in Mika's spot.
On what he wants to see:
Well we want to have another response. The game we played the other night against Florida, they had the game at 2-1 and I thought we did a lot of good things in that game, we have to continue to do things good as a group. As a team we haven't found our best game yet so we have to keep searching for that and searching for it we have to play the right way, play with the structure we need to and we also have to make sure we're here to work at it.
On Chris Neil on the PP:
We had Colin and Chris play some on the power play the other night just to try to get a presence at the net that's a constant presence as opposed to the shifting presence we've had at times during the regular season. Just to give the opposition a different look.
On the Coyotes:
They play a very good defensive game and they're very structured in how they play. Their goaltender has been very good, they depend on their defensive game to give them offence in terms of turning over pucks and creating odd man situations through the neutral zone so execution in the neutral zone is very important against Phoenix.
On the PK:
We're just unlucky, I don't know what it is, we do pressure, we're just not as good as we were. Our sticks aren't as good, our pressure isn't as good, I think we're a touch late. A lot of that happens when we don't clear the puck 200 feet and then if you're out there killing a two minute penalty for 40 seconds or a minute you're not pressuring anymore and if you do try to pressure fatigue is a factor and you're going to be late. Last year when we did things we won faceoffs, we got pucks out of our zone, we were always fresh when we were on the ice so you can challenge entries, you can apply pressure when you have energy and you're fresh on the ice. When your fatigue becomes a factor the other teams in this league are good and if they catch you and if you're out there and you're fatigued they're going to score. I think that has been a bigger issue with our penalty kill is not winning the faceoffs like we did and not clearing the puck like we have in the past has forced us to play on the ice longer…I think the goalie goes along with the fatigue…they're getting better looks if we're in our zone longer. I don't disagree that we didn't get the save but at the same time we're asking them to make more difficult saves than we did in the past.
10:00 AM: The Sens will look to get back in the win column today as they host the Phoenix Coyotes at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Sens are coming off of a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night when the team ran out of steam late after carrying the lead for most of the game. Chris Neil and Jason Spezza scored for the Sens while Craig Anderson stopped 31 shots in the loss.
The Coyotes are in the thick of the Pacific Division's playoff race with a record of 18-10-6 for 42 points this season. This past Thursday they came up short in a 2-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the second game of their current four game road swing. The Sens topped Phoenix in their only other meeting this season in October, a 4-3 game that went to overtime.
Paul MacLean will speak to the media at 11:30 today and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts on tonight's game, Sens TV updates, Instagram goodness and more.
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