As the CBC said in their gameday preview, both the Atlanta Thrashers and the Ottawa Senators have something to prove in tonight's game. Ottawa got off to a putrid start (1-4-1) but have won the past three games despite injuries to some big guns, such as Milan Michalek.and Filip Kuba. The Thrashers have gotten nine points out of the past seven games, but have lost one in overtime and two in a shootout. Both teams are scrambling to bring fans into the arena, and a loss to Atlanta tonight would not be particularly a positive event for the Senators or their fans.
Atlanta, who is without forward Bryan Little for the fourth straight game, have had the ability in the past to score a good bit on the Senators. However, the high scoring days were when Ilya Kovalchuk was still around. The Thrashers haven't been having issues scoring this season, averaging 3.07 goals a game. Ottawa averages 20th in the league at 2.57. Atlanta, though, ranks dead last in the league in goals allowed (3.50), so the Senators will probably be hoping to fluff their goals scored average more than a little bit tonight.
Chris Mason is in net for the Thrashers, and Brian Elliot will be in tonight for the Sens to see if he can continue his winning streak. Mason has very little experience with the Senators, and Ondrej Pavelec (Thursday's starter) has little experience with that night's opponent, the Minnesota Wild. Mason stopped fifty five shots for a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers in his last start.