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Game 7 Preview: Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators

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The Pageau chants will have to hold off this time.

NHL: Preseason-Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Following a long four-day break for the Ottawa Senators, they’re back in action tonight against the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Both teams have been off to surprisingly hot starts, with Ottawa and Montreal holding the Atlantic division’s 5th and 2nd spots respectively. Both teams finished in the bottom four last season, and are looking to redeem themselves with bounce back performances.

The Sens are currently riding a two-game win streak, while the Habs have won their last three. Game time is 7:00 p.m., and you can catch the broadcast on Sportsnet 360, CITY or TVA Sports.

Roster Notes

A bunch of key Sens are out with injuries, including notable Habs slayer Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Alex Formenton and Cody Ceci were both in a non-contact jerseys this morning, and are not expected to play. Max McCormick and Brady Tkachuk are also not ready to play, meaning the only non-injured player returning to the lineup will be Ryan Dzingel.

Christian Jaros and Nick Paul have both been called back up from Belleville, with Jaros playing and Paul sitting. Boucher will once again go with the 11-7 forward-defencemen setup. Craig Anderson gets the start, and will likely be battling Carey Price at the other end.

Here are the projected lines and pairings, which is just my guess based off of previous usage this season.

Boedker - Smith - Stone
Paajarvi - Tierney - Pyatt
Dzingel - Duchene - Ryan
Carey - White

Chabot - DeMelo
Borowiecki - Wideman
Lajoie - Jaros
Harpur

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Game Notes

  • A few sobering stats: Ottawa’s getting outshot by an average of twelve shots per game, and their 14.9% shooting percentage is 1.7 higher than the second highest team. As fun as this opening run is, I don’t see how this is sustainable.
  • Guy Boucher put heavy emphasis on the team’s locker room chemistry in his pre-game availability, although I think it’s a secret that the correlation between being on a winning team and feeling good in the locker room is basically a straight line.
  • The average age of Ottawa’s top five scorers is 22.2 years old. I haven’t checked the rest of the league, but I feel pretty confident saying that would be the youngest in the NHL.
  • Dylan DeMelo and Thomas Chabot seem to have solidified themselves as Ottawa’s top pairing, and the results have been decent thus far. They’re the Sens’ only defence combo with over 50 minutes at 5v5 together, and their 51.92% Corsi percentage is great relative to the rest of the team.
  • The Sens are going for three wins in a row. Their last time with such a streak came on March 16th, nineteen games ago. If Montreal wins, however, it’ll be their first time with a four game winning streak since December 2nd, 2017.

Here are some stats from NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick.

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Category Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 4.00 3rd 3.33 16th
Goals Against/GP 3.67 25th 2.50 8th
Shots/GP 26.8 27th 33.8 6th
Shots Against/GP 38.3 31st 26.3 4th
Powerplay % 27.8 7th 15.4 22nd
Penalty Kill % 78.3 17th 72.2 23rd
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 42.74 29th 54.89 6th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 43.59 29th 54.12 7th

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
-- Player # Player #
Goals Ryan Dzingel 5 Kyle Palmieri 9
Assists Thomas Chabot 14 Taylor Hall 12
Points Thomas Chabot 17 Kyle Palmieri 15
Shots Lajoie, Maxime 35 Taylor Hall 40
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 22:34 Sami Vatanen 23:06

Preview Charts

Game score is a stat created by Dom Luszczyszyn which measures impact in a game using typical box score stats. The game prediction model is also created by Dom.