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Sens Week Ahead: Jan 10th to 16th

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Go west!

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Senators @ Capitals

Sunday, January 10th, 7pm
Sportsnet

Prev game : @Rangers, Saturday, January 9th
Next game : Canucks, Thursday, January 14th

Hot : Nicklas Backstrom - 6P (3G, 3A) in last 5 GP
Cold : Brooks Laich - 0P in last 4 GP
Injured : Brooks Orpik (IR), John Carlson (IR), Jay Beagle (IR)

What a great way to start the week - a back to back against the current league leading team!

OPPOSITION MILESTONE GOAL ALERT: Alex Ovechkin goes in to this game sitting at 499 career regular season goals. You never want to be the team to give up the milestone goal.

The Capitals have, by far, the best goal differential in the league. They rank second overall in both goals per game and goals against per game. This translates to an average of scoring just over a goal per game more than they allow. Second place is barely three quarters of that, and third place barely over half of that.

Power play and penalty kill? Second and fifth, respectively.

Generally when a team is ranked so high in both, they're riding PDO pretty hard. Washington is, but don't expect a whole lot of regression. Odds are they'll come down some, but at 5 on 5 they're at the top end of the range teams typically end the season at.

The good news is that the Capitals are also on a back to back, with travel. Given this, the Sens may get backup Philipp Grubauer rather than current Vezina favourite Braden Holtby. Grubauer hasn't been terrible on the scale of backups, but he hasn't been great either.

Senators @ Ducks

Wednesday, January 13th, 10pm
TSN5

Prev game : Red Wings, Sunday, January 10th
Next game : Stars, Friday, January 15th

Hot : Ryan Kessler - 4P (4G) in last 4 GP
Cold : Andrew Cogliano - 0P in last 6 GP
Injured : Simon Despres (IR), Cam Fowler (IR)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

The Ducks took the Pacific division handily last season, but the Ducks of this season are on pace for a mere 84 points. That would see them finish a whopping 25 points below where they were last season, a league-high season over season drop.

Goal production has dropped significantly, down by almost a goal per game. It's not even how far it dropped, but also how low - they're on pace for a single goal more than last season's goal count by the "trying to be bad" Buffalo, and to finish this season 27 goals behind the team with the second lowest goals per game. Corey Perry is the only duck with double digit goals, and his 15 almost double up on second on the roster. The team's shooting percentage is absurdly low, so it isn't likely to last - but they've somehow manage to drop further in the last 10 games so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

At the other end of the ice, they aren't actually doing so bad. Their shots against are among the lowest in the league, and John Gibson has taken the Anaheim net with a solid save percentage. Between the two, Gibson leads the league in goals against average.

Senators @ Kings

Saturday, January 16th, 4pm
TSN5

Prev game : Red Wings, Monday, January 11th
Next game : @Ducks, Sunday, January 17th

Hot : Jonathan Quick - 0.964 SV% in last 6 GP
Cold : Dustin Brown - 0P in last 5 GP
Injured : Matt Greene (IR), Kyle Clifford (IR)

Don't be confused by their point total, the LA Kings are playing in about as dominant a fashion this season as they ever have. They're possession monsters again this year, sitting at the top of the league for 5 on 5 Corsi with over a full percentage point on the second best team.

The goaltending has been running hot at even strength this season, with Jonathan Quick being especially hot as of late. He's gone almost two weeks without allowing more than one goal in a game, and the last game where he did allow two he was blitzed for 44 shots. Jhonas Enroth has great overall numbers for a back up as well, but has been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde in his individual performances. Out of seven starts, he's had three games where he finished with a sub-900 save percentage.

While the goaltending is running hot enough that it might be due to fall a bit as the season wears on, the shooting is the opposite. They're close to a full percentage point below the league average at 5 on 5 - a difference of about a goal every four games, and the difference between the middle of the pack for goals per game and sixth overall.