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Sens Week Ahead : Feb 22 to 28

The Western swing starts this week, with only a back-to-back on the schedule

Ben Lovejoy wants to celebrate too!
Ben Lovejoy wants to celebrate too!
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Senators @ Ducks

Wednesday, February 25th, 10pm
TSN5

Prev game : Red Wings, Monday, February 23rd
Next game : Kings, Friday, February 27th

Hot : Ryan Getzlaf - 3P (2G, 1A) in last 2 GP
Cold : Ryan Kesler - 0P in last 7 GP

The Ducks are a tough team to pin down.  They've lead the league at points this season, but their possession numbers haven't been backing their position in the standings up.

Typically that would mean a high PDO, but it's very close to 1 so it's not like they've been driven up the standings by puck luck.

They've also been having a relatively rough stretch lately, going only 5-4-1 in their last 10.  They've been a sub-50% possession team in those ten games, and three of their five wins have come against the Hurricanes and Oilers.  Still, despite all of that they still lead their division and are still in the hunt for the Presidents Trophy.

It would be easy to put the recent struggles on the injury to starter Frederik Anderson, but with a save percentage of .916 he hasn't exactly been carrying the team on his back this season.  John Gibson's .911 hasn't helped, but isn't enough to really drive the fall.

Sheldon Souray, Frederik Andersen, Matt Beleskey and Sami Vatanen are out on IR.  Clayton Stoner is day to day.

Senators @ Kings

Thursday, February 26th, 10:30pm
TSN5

Prev game : Red Wings, Tuesday, February 24th
Next game : @Ducks, Friday, February 27th

Hot : Jeff Carter - 10P (4G, 6A) in last 6 GP
Cold : Alec Martinez - 0P in last 7 GP

The Kings enter the week on top of the three-way tie in the Pacific division that stretches from the third divisional spot to out of the playoffs, much lower than what was expected of the defending Cup Champions.

Their possession game is still way up there at second in the league, less than a third of a percent behind the league leading Chicago.  Despite that, they've mostly been middle of the pack everywhere else.  Goals for and the power play are right in the middle, with goals against sitting barely in the top third of the league.

One big weakness the Kings have had this season is their penalty kill.  It sits below 80% and at 25th overall in the league.

Tanner Pearson is on IR, Alec Martinez is day to day, and Slava Voynov is just an asshole.

Senators @ Sharks

Saturday, February 28th, 10pm
Sportsnet

Prev game : Red Wings, Thursday, February 26th
Next game : Canadiens, Monday, March 2nd

Hot : Joe Pavelski - 3P (3A) in last 3 GP
Cold : Joe Thornton - 0P in last 3 GP

Apparently weeks that start on Sunday end on Saturday?  Who knew.

The Sens complete their week's trip through California against the Sharks.  San Jose is also in that three-way tie in the Pacific division, but they're the team sitting outside of the playoffs right now.

The Sharks haven't been having a great season compared to their recent track record.  They really do look like a bubble team, with middle of the pack scoring and middle of the pack possession numbers.  The goals against is an issue for the Sharks, sitting in the bottom third of the league.  That stat hasn't been helped very much by the goaltending.  Antti Niemi is posting an underwhelming .913 SV%, and Alex Stalock is below .900.

The special teams have had opposite levels of success.  The power play comes in at the low end of the top 10, while the power play is barely out of the bottom 10.

Joe Thornton has yet to score four goals in a single game.

The Sharks have Raffi Torres, Mike Brown, Tye McGinn and Daniil Tarasov on IR.