The Flames are visiting the city where I spend the majority of my year away at university tonight to take on the Senators, and as such, my pride is on the line as Ottawa stands to sweep the season series with a victory at Scotiabank Place tonight.
After a dreadful showing against the Islanders last night, the chances that the team will perform better on the second half of a back-to-back are unlikely, but I can dream. Projected lines after the jump.
Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-Jarome Iginla
Rene Bourque-Mikael Backlund-Lee Stempniak
Blake Comeau-Roman Horak-Paul Byron
Tom Kostopoulos-Brendan Morrison-Tim Jackman
Jay Bouwmeester-Chris Butler
Scott Hannan-Anton Babchuk
T.J. Brodie-Cory Sarich
Milan Michalek-Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson
Colin Greening-Kyle Turris-Erik Condra
Nick Foligno-Zack Smith-Bobby Butler
Kaspars Daugavins-Zenon Konopka-Chris Neil
Filip Kuba-Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowan-Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips-Brian Lee
As Flames defencemen continue to drop, the team has called up off-season acquisition Clay Wilson from AHL Abbotsford after Derek Smith went down with an injury last night in Long Island. Smith has exceed expectations this season and his absence could force Anton Babchuk, who has been traveling with the team, to draw back into the lineup.
The Glencross-Jokinen-Iginla line will stay together despite quite the sub-par performance against a team they should have beaten as Tanguay continues to remain unavailable due to an undisclosed injury.
The visitors will get their first look at almost-Flame Kyle Turris in a Senators uniform and leading scorer Milan Michalek has made his triumphant return to the Senators lineup after missing time with a concussion.
Perhaps the only good omen for the Flames as they continue on their six-game road trip is that the Senators have lost two straight and goaltender Alex Auld has a sub-.900 SV% in his career against Calgary.
Enjoy the game everyone and happy New Years eve-eve. Go Flames. Go Leland!