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Game 18 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Florida Panthers

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The Sens are in Sunrise for the second half of an all Florida back-to-back

NHL: Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators Marc Desrosiers / Agence QMI

After pulling off a surprising comeback victory against the East-leading Tampa Bay Lightning last night, the Sens are back in action to face Mike Hoffman and the Florida Panthers for the first time this season.

We all thought Guy Boucher was going to go 12-6 last night, but he ended up rolling with his favoured 11-7, scratching Nick Paul. There will be a couple of changes to that winning lineup tonight, though, with Mike McKenna making his first start of the season and Chris Wideman out with a minor lower-body injury:

Tkachuk - White - Stone
Boedker - Tierney - Ryan
Dzingel - Duchene - Paul
McCormick - Pyatt - Paajarvi

Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie - Ceci
Borowiecki - Jaros

McKenna (starter)
Anderson

Extras: Nick Paul

The Panthers also played yesterday (a 4-2 win over the Islanders), and have been rolling a lineup that looks like this:

Dadonov - Barkov - Hoffman
Huberdeau - Trocheck - Vatrano
Malgin - McCann - Bjugstad
Brouwer - Lammikko - Sceviour

Matheson - Ekblad
Yandle - Petrovic
Kiselevich - Weegar

Reimer (starter)
Luongo

Extras: Derek MacKenzie (inj.), Jamie McGinn (inj.), Micheal Haley (inj.), Mark Pysyk

Game Notes

  • Mike Hoffman is on a 11-game point streak, with 7 goals, 5 assists, and 12 points in 13 games this season. Five of his points have come with the player advantage, and he continues to shoot the puck at a rate of 3.46 a game. Tonight seems like a good time to end this streak.
  • Roberto Luongo’s been a strong presence in net in his return from injury, but we expect the 39-year-old to get a day off in a back-to-back situation, much like Craig Anderson. James Reimer is sporting a .885 save percentage in his 8 games this season.
  • Florida is positive shot driving team, and is led by their second line of Huberdeau - Trocheck - Vatrano in that regard. Barkov’s group gets the tough minutes, and are coming out even in them so far. On defence, their top-four receives pretty even minutes across the board.
  • On offence, the team seems to have some trouble getting shots from the middle of the icean area where the Sens give up a fair amount from. Overall, Bob Boughner’s group is a stingy defensive team, blocking the area around the net and the points well at 5-on-5 and on the PK.
  • On the Ottawa end, Ryan Dzingel has regained his rightful (?) spot among the team’s goal scoring leaders with 8. Thomas Chabot saw his point streak end, but Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Bobby Ryan (!) saw theirs continue.
  • What’s really hurting Ottawa is their shot metrics, as they won’t be able to sustain the league’s top shooting percentage (11%+) for very long. Games like last night are fun when they happen, but it can be infrequent unless the team starts to fix their bigger issues.
  • On the injury front: Zack Smith could be back next week, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau skated in Ottawa for the first time since his injury. He is not close to returning.

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
-- Player # Player #
Goals Matt Duchene 10 Mikael Granlund 10
Assists Thomas Chabot 19 Mikko Koivu 14
Points Matt Duchene 27 Mikael Granlund 19
Shots Thomas Chabot 62 Matt Dumba 67
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 23:27 Ryan Suter 25:53

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
Category Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 3.57 1st 3.10 16th
Goals Against/GP 4.19 31st 2.67 7th
Shots/GP 30.1 23rd 31.5 16th
Shots Against/GP 38.0 31st 31.1 13th
Powerplay % 25.0 7th 21.7 12th
Penalty Kill % 68.2 31st 84.9 3rd
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 42.92 30th 49.39 19th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 43.65 30th 40.45 15th