It's a busy week, with over half of the remaining games on the schedule. Ottawa could clinch this week, unless Winnipeg runs the board.
Game 42 - Senators at Bruins
Last game of the road trip! It ends where it began, in Boston.
The biggest difference for the Bruins since that game is the addition of
Jarome Iginla Jaromir Jagr. He's been off to a strong start with his new team, posting 7 points in 6 games. The Bruins have also added some Latvian guy.
With Patrice Bergeron out since the last visit by the Sens, Brad Marchand was able to take the team lead in points. Then he got injured, and that allowed Jagr to catch up. Tyler Seguin has a 3 game goal streak going.
Game 43 - Hurricanes at Senators
It's the back half of the last back-to-back of the season! Practically speaking, the Hurricanes are playing the spoiler right now. They kept Boston out of the division lead, at least temporarily, and will likely be in Ottawa before the puck drops in Boston on Monday. They're 2-8-0 in their last 10 games, but lost a few during the 7 game losing streak they probably should have won based on their effort - something that should sound familiar.
Carolina is the only team to have more shots on net than Ottawa, by a margin of 0.4 shots per game, so this one should be a high action affair. Eric Staal is 7th in the league for points and 8th for assists, with Alexander Semin tied with him for assists.
Their penalty kill is an I-can't-believe-it's-not-last 77.4%, and their power play is an also-dismal 15%. If this game comes down to special teams, it can only benefit the Senators.
Game 44 - Capitals at Senators
How about that Alex Ovechkin? He's got 11 goals and 4 assists in his last 10 games, and has taken the league lead in goals away from Stamkos. He's one of the big reasons why the Capitals are 8-1-1 in those 10 games, and why they're at the top of their division instead of 14th in the conference like they were the last time we saw them way back in January.
He's not the only reason though, as the team has put the puck in the net 35 times in those 10 games (not counting shootouts). Mike Green has 7 in that stretch, but past that the scoring has been pretty distributed.
The flip side is they've allowed 28 goals in those same 10 games. Braden Holtby was all over the board, with save percentages ranging from 0.853 to 0.977. Michal Neuvirth was solid in both his starts in that stretch, but I doubt we'll see him in nets against Ottawa as Hotlby really is their starter.
Game 45 - Maple Leafs at Senators
REVENGE! I hope. Depending how the week plays out, this could be the battle for 5th.
Nazem Kadri has cooled a bit since that night-that-shall-not-be-named, with only 2 assists in 5 games. Other players have picked up the slack, though. James van Riemsdyk has 7 points in those 5 games, Phil Kessel has 8. Even Dion Phaneuf picked up 4 points.
James Reimer has a they-think-it's-good 0.922 SV% on the season right now (okay, okay - that's good enough to tie for 10th on the leaderboard) and an isn't-actually-that-good 2.46 GAA. He's been pretty good since the last trip to SBP as well, with 3 above average performances and only one stinker of a game.