Sens to unleash big guns

Jonathan Cheechoo will see his first action as an Ottawa Senator tonight. (Sun Media/Errol McGihon)

Jonathan Cheechoo will see his first action as an Ottawa Senator tonight. (Sun Media/Errol McGihon)

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:08 PM ET

Coach Cory Clouston will unleash his top players when the Senators play their second exhibition game of the season tonight at Scotiabank Place against the Florida Panthers.

There will be just one key omission. While he did arrive at the rink around noon, the roster will not include Milan Michalek, the former San Jose Sharks winger acquired in last weekend's Dany Heatley trade. Jonathan Cheechoo, the other Shark acquired in the swap, will be on the ice.

Ottawa's line combinations at this morning's skate are expected to stay intact this evening as Clouston begins hunting for the right combinations to start the regular season in a couple of weeks.

They were as follows:

  • Nick Foligno-Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson
  • Jonathan Cheechoo-Mike Fisher-Alex Kovalev
  • Ilya Zubov-Zack Smith-Jim O'Brien
  • Jeremy Yablonski-Jesse Winchester-Ryan Keller.

On defence will be Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov, Filip Kuba, Erik Karlsson, Derek Smith and Tomas Kudelka.

Brian Elliott will start in goal and is expected to give way to Mike Brodeur near the half-way point.

"Not always do you have the best players playing together," Clouston said. "We're hoping to find a good fit. There is some thought process that goes into the creation of a line, and sometimes you stumble on a line by chance."

The Senators opened the preseason with a 3-1 loss to the Panthers last night in Halifax. That Ottawa lineup was laden with rookies and less experienced players.


Videos

Photos