Weary Sens getting set for rested Lightning

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:08 PM ET

The Senators will be facing a rested and recently embarrassed team when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.

Tampa, the first place team in the Southeast Division with a 24-12-5 record, was schooled 8-1 by the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 5, its last time out.

The Lightning have been in Ottawa ever since, and on Friday players were berated by rookie coach Guy Boucher for their indifference in a practice that ended up lasting just short of two hours.

They were later able to relax and watch on TVs in their Ottawa hotel rooms as the Senators lost a 3-2 shootout in Chicago.

The Senators did not have the luxury of a good night's rest as they did not arrive back in Ottawa until early Saturday morning.

"It was a tough trip ...we didn't get in until 3:15 a.m.," coach Cory Clouston said after an noon meeting with players.

"I think over the next five games at home we play four times where the opposition is sitting here waiting for us. So the schedule isn't our friend right now."

Clouston will go with the same lineup against the Bolts that he used in Chicago, which means Matt Carkner is again a healthy scratch and Brian Elliott starts in goal.

Clouston said that Pascal Leclaire, who re-aggrivated a lower body injury during Friday's morning skate, will now miss at least another week. He said that 20-year-old Swede Robin Lehner could very well get a start next week, when the Senators are in Boston (Tuesday), Long Island (Thursday) then back home to face Calgary Friday.

As for the comeback against the Hawks, Clouston remains pleased.

"We played well," he said. "We did a lot of good things at both ends of the ice, scored on our only powerplay opportunity, discipline was excellent. We didn't give them an opportunity on the powerplay. To score one late there, to at least salvage a point, is a positive. Tough building to play in against a very good team. "

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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