Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 47 — Wild vs. Senators
4:45 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie catches up with Mika Zibanejad who was drafted in the Xcel Energy Center.
4:30 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Wild.
Michalek - Zibanejad - Conacher
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Spezza - Stone
Kassian - Smith - Condra
Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Ceci
Phillips - Wiercioch
Niederreiter - Granlund - Pominville
Heatley - Coyle - Zucker
Cooke - Brodziak - Fontaine
Veilleux - Haula - Mitchell
Suter - Brodin
Scandella - Prosser
Blum - Stoner
3:45 PM: Colin Greening is set to play his 200th NHL game tonight. He talks about tonight's game and hitting the milestone...
3:30 PM: Robin Lehner gets the start in Minnesota tonight. Here's what he had to say...
On the team's play:
What a turnaround. I think we're playing the game the right way and we're playing very well. We're stringing 60-65 minute games and we're all on the same page and working hard. That's a pretty good recipe.
On if there's more pressure on him:
No, it's always pressure, I want to go out and do my best. Hopefully we get a win.
2:30 PM: Paul MacLean offered his updates on the lineup and thoughts ahead of tonight's game after the morning skate. Here's what he had to say...
On tonight's lineup:
Chris is getting really close and probably could go if we absolutely needed him to go tonight, but we really want to make sure with the type of injury he has that he's really ready to go. He feels he's ready to go but at this point in time we're not convinced he's ready to go and we want to make sure when he gets back in the lineup he's playing all of the rest of the games and not just a couple of them.
On keys to victory tonight:
Well I think they're playing very well right now, they're playing with a lot of patience and discipline in their game and, for us, we're going to have to do the same thing. We're the road team so a big thing for us is to try and not do too much, let's not force things, let's make sure we're a patient team as well and I think the faceoff circle is going to be a big key.
On the keys to the road trip thus far:
We have been a patient team but at the same time we've played. We haven't forced things, I think we have been very good and diligent with the puck when we have it and putting into good places where we can get it back and not forcing things. We haven't turned the puck over like we had earlier in the year. Coming out of our zone is much better and through the neutral zone we're doing a much better job of not turning over pucks and that obviously makes it way easier for you to be patient and way easier to play the game.
On the mood in the room:
I think everyone is just in a little bit better mood and consistently everyone plays a little bit looser. They're not squeezing their sticks and they're not squeezing their feet and it's just a more relaxed game to play and you usually have more success when you're relaxed.
On Ceci and the defensive group:
The best players play and he has been one of the best players. You could argue when you talk about eight defencemen, four of them have played consistently in the lineup and they're the four that have played the most consistent in our opinion. Those are the four that we're not changing, we give them obviously maybe a little bit more rope than the other. At this point in time they're the four that have played the most consistent hockey and they have to play.
On if he is ready to anoint Ceci as an NHLer:
That comes at some point, I don't know exactly how many games he has played yet but Colin Greening is coming up to 200 games tonight and is that enough games to say he's an NHLer? He has played, I'm not sure exactly what that number is. We do know that since Cody has been up here he has been a very consistent player and we'll see.
10:00 AM: It's game day in Minnesota and the Sens will be looking for more road points tonight when they take on the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Senators are coming off of a shootout win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. Kyle Turris scored the lone regulation goal for the Sens while Mika Zibanejad and Jason Spezza scored in the shootout to earn the 2-1 win. Craig Anderson made 32 saves in the victory and didn't allow a goal against in the shootout.
The Wild are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race at the moment with a 25-18-5 record, good for 55 points in 48 games and fourth in the Central Division. They are coming off of a road win in Nashville as well after they beat the Predators by a 4-0 score on Sunday night and have had quite a bit of success at home this season with a 16-6-2 record in Minnesota.
The Sens will have their morning skate at 11:30 in Minnesota (12:30 ET) 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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