Colin White might make his NHL post-season debut when the Ottawa Senators face elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final tonight.
Head coach Guy Boucher hinted at either White or veteran Chris Kelly drawing into the lineup if the club opted to dress 12 forwards and six defencemen against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.
Boucher, who dressed seven defencemen in Sunday's 7-0 Game 5 loss, confirmed that Ryan Dzingel would replace Tommy Wingels and added that both defenceman Mark Borowiecki and forward Alex Burrows would remain sidelined by injury.
The 21st overall pick in the 2015 draft, White has played only two NHL regular season games in his career — the first of which came on Apr. 3. The 20-year-old spent this season at Boston College (33 points in 35 games) before joining the Senators AHL affiliate for three games in late March.
"He's a really smart player, he's got speed — lots of speed — a guy that drives the net and he's very reliable both sides of the ice and that's why we're considering him," Boucher said. "If he wasn't that good there would be no consideration."
Boucher suggested that injury troubles down the middle were adding to that consideration with Derick Brassard recently moving to the wing with an apparent ailment that forced him to exit Game 5 early. Brassard is expected to suit up in Game 6 as are captain Erik Karlsson and defenceman Cody Ceci, both of whom also left Sunday's game for precaution.
Kelly has played only one post-season game this spring and it came in the first round against Boston more than a month ago.