It’s Foligno night in Ottawa

Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place can hold up to 20,500 people.

Tonight, roughly half of them will be Folignos.

The Senators will host the Sabres tonight at Scotiabank in what many are calling “The Foligno Bowl.” (Okay, it’s only being called at PHT headquarters, which is actually an abandoned gas station bathroom.)

Brothers Nick and Marcus Foligno will play against each other for the first time in an NHL contest after Buffalo called Marcus up from AHL Rochester yesterday. Needless to say, the brothers are fairly stoked about the timing.

“He’s really excited. He’s got a great opportunity and he has to make the most of it, and he knows that,” Nick told the Ottawa Sun. “I think it’s going to be great. It’ll be great when I first see him on the ice. It’s pretty fun. I’m sure we’ll both laugh.

“I know he’s so excited. I spoke with him last night. He’s thrilled for the opportunity and hopefully he can make the most of it. He just wants to come up and play really well. I have full confidence.”

In addition to those on the ice, there should be plenty of Folignos in the stands. Nick and Marcus’ father, former Anaheim assistant coach Mike Foligno, will be in attendance along with approximately 30 family members.

“It’s pretty neat,” Nick said. “We’ve been really fortunate. I got to play against my Dad last year and now my brother. His first game against me is really exciting for the whole family.”

This is just the latest sibling matchup in what’s been a season of brotherly hockey love. We’ve already seen four sets of brothers face each other for the first time:

Luke Schenn vs. Brayden Schenn

Anthony Stewart vs. Chris Stewart

Phil Kessel vs. Blake Kessel

Zach Bogosian vs. Aaron Bogosian

As we’re wont to do anytime brothers square off, here’s video of the time Keith and Wayne Primeau played against each other…and beat each other up:

Clarke MacArthur, Craig Anderson made Sens win that much more emotional

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It could have been over for Clarke MacArthur plenty of times during his turbulent NHL career. Scratch that, his turbulent hockey career.

His team walked away from his salary arbitration award. MacArthur’s seen plenty of people give up on him. And then, when he finally found a home with the Ottawa Senators, concussion issues threatened to end his playing days.

Yet, there he was on Sunday … drawing a penalty in overtime and then scoring on the ensuing power play to help the Senators advance beyond the Boston Bruins.

He didn’t deny that he imagined very different possibilities during his darker moments.

And, as uplifting as his story was – seriously, just watch this interview and try not to root for the guy – it wasn’t the only emotionally charged moment from Game 6.

Nicholle Anderson was on hand to cheer on Craig Anderson in this one, and the two were able to embrace after the contest:

As violent and intense as the playoffs can often be, MacArthur and Anderson reminded us of the gentler human side of it all.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins?

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.

MacArthur, Senators end Bruins’ season in OT after controversial calls

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It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.

Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.

Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.

People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.

Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.

The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.

Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.