The wait is finally over – the Ottawa Senators officially launch their 2014-2015 NHL campaign tonight when they take on the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Following an off-season with many changes and a pretty successful preseason, it is now time to see how the changes will affect the Senators’ fortunes.
Superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson will make his debut as the ninth captain in Senators history, while veteran defenseman Chris Phillips and pugilistic winger Chris Neil will continue to serve as alternates. Curtis Lazar will officially make his NHL debut, and he is expected to centre the fourth line between Mike Hoffman and Neil. Craig Anderson will make the start in goal, as he looks to return to the form from two years ago in which he racked up an astounding .941 save percentage and finished fourth in Vezina voting despite missing a large portion of the lockout-shortened season. The top line for tonight’s opening game, as it was for much of last season, will be Kyle Turris between Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan.
Veteran centre David Legwand makes his return to the team that drafted him second overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Legwand with Nashville from their inception before being moved at the trade deadline to Detroit last season. In all, he played 956 games with the Predators franchise. This will be game #1 in an Ottawa uniform for the two-way centre.
Healthy scratches for tonight’s game include Patrick Wiercioch on defense, and Colin Greening and Erik Condra up front. Defenseman Marc Methot, who missed most of training camp with a back injury, did not join the team on the current road trip. Following tonight’s game, the Sens will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night and the Florida Panthers on Monday before returning to Ottawa for the home opener against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, October 16th.
The Sens season opener starts at 8pm eastern time, and can be seen on TSN5, in French on RDS2, and on the radio with TSN1200. Suffice it to say….GO SENS GO!