Purcell and Lightning to play Greening and the Senators in Ottawa tonight
A pair of St. John’s natives will line up against each other tonight in suburban Ottawa when the Senators play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Canadian Tire Centre.
Fourth-year Senators winger Colin Greening and Teddy Purcell, a seven-year veteran pro, and a Lightning right-winger, are two of six Newfoundlanders currently in the National Hockey League, joining Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe (New Jersey Devils), Daniel Cleary (Detroit Red Wings) and Adam Pardy (Winnipeg Jets).
“We’re all pretty good buddies,” Purcell said after practice Thursday. “We’re all rooting for each other when we’re not playing against each other.
“Usually, on the night before a game if we’re in town, we’ll take each other out to dinner. And whoever’s town you’re in, they pick up the tab.”
The Lightning arrive in Ottawa third overall in the Eastern Conference (31-17-5). The Senators are struggling at 23-20-10, 11th in the East.
Purcell is having a solid year, with 10 goals and 32 points in 53 games. He’s tied for third amongst Tampa’s point-getters.
Greening’s been having a tough season, with four goals and 11 points in 53 games.
He has been somewhat of an iron man on Ottawa, however, missing only one game since he was called up from Binghamton of the American Hockey League, as a healthy scratch.
“It’s tough with the schedules, because some teams will fly out after the game,” Greening said of the small Newfoundland NHL fraternity, “but we’ll certainly text each other after games.
“I always try and say hi to the guys.”