Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 44 — Canadiens vs. Senators
4:30 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie talks masks and pucks off the face with Craig Anerson. Take a look...
3:30 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Canadiens.
Michalek - Zibanejad - Conacher
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Smith - Stone
Kassian - Pageau - Condra
Cowen - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Methot - Gryba
Bourque - Plekanec - Gionta
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Galchenyuk - Eller - Prust
Moen - Briere - Bournival
Bouillon - Subban
Markov - Emelin
Murray - Gorges
2:30 PM: Here's what Mika Zibanejad had to say ahead of tonight's game.
1:40 PM: Paul MacLean passed along his pre-game updates. Here's what he had to say...
On tonight's lineup:
On his message to keep things rolling:
Well we've just come off a rather lengthy homestand and now we have an opportunity to come on the road and see, in a very good, difficult building to play in, how good are we? We did enough to continue to compete against the better teams in the Eastern Conference and our division and I think it's a good test for us. It's always a fun game to play here in Montreal and against the Canadiens and here at the Bell Centre. I think we look forward to the opportunity.
He had no setback at all, if we absolutely needed him to play in the game we could have had him play the game. We just felt that with four more days before we play in Colorado we should err on the side of caution and makre. For sure he'll be expected to play on Wednesday night if he's 100 per cent and he'll stay in the lineup. To play him tonight and get him re-injured didn't make a lot of sense to us.
On the wins helping the decision:
Well any time you can get Jason Spezza back you're going to put him in the lineup. It doesn't matter what the team is doing, we just felt it wasn't 100 per cent so we weren't going to put him in until he's 100 per cent. We feel that on Wednesday with the practice times he'll be in for sure... We made the decision yesterday so that he could stay in Ottawa, get some skates in and get better treatment than just the pre-game here... Jason skated today for sure, whether or not Chris Neil did or not, I don't think he skated at the same pace that Jason did. Whether or not he skated I assume was a public skate like the other day, but Jason skated today.
He's still day-to-day, there's not further assessment on him.
On others stepping up:
Well one man's injury is another man's opportunity all the time and I think when a player of Jason's significance is in the lineup a lot of times you find yourself turning down the bench and say he's going to do it and you wait for him to do it. When he's not there somebody has to step up and I think that's a healthy thing for our group, especially our younger players. Mika Zibanejad has come in and played in that ice time slot and has really stepped up.
Pageau he has been — the faceoff circle has been very good for him and allows us to get him on the ice, his penalty killing has been very good for us as well. The offensive side of it we still think he might be a little too cautious, his game is much better when he's flowing and skating and just getting after it and we'd like to see him do that a little bit more but for the most part his game has been fine.
On the Bell Centre:
This building has a way of reminding you of a lot of things, it's one of the most exciting places to play in the league with the pre-game stuff and the fans and the participation. I think it's one of the best venues in the league.
10:30 AM: It's game day in Montreal as the Senators will try to make it four in a row tonight when they take on the Canadiens.
The Sens get back at it tonight after a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Goals from Mika Zibanejad, Milan Michalek, Zack Smith and Clarke MacArthur were the offence they needed and Craig Anderson continued to provide the goaltending they needed to get their third win in a row and first of 2014.
The Canadiens sit ahead of the Sens in the Atlantic Division standings with a 24-14-4 record, good for 52 points from 42 games. In their last game they defeated the Dallas Stars by a 6-4 margin on the road. The Sens took the only game between these two this season with a 4-1 victory.
The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate 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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