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Game 26 Preview: New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators

It’s a rematch of Monday’s loss

NHL: Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a few minutes makes. Close to being a on a five-game losing streak, some late-game heroics by Brady Tkachuk and Matt Duchene gave the Sens life. Now they look to continue to right the ship and have a two-game win streak for just the third time this season. The Rangers come to town having not played since Monday’s win.

It appears that other than swapping Mike McKenna for Craig Anderson, the lineup remains the same. This means Max McCormick continues to be a healthy scratch and Mark Borowiecki continues to sniff out bloggers be hurt. Here are the projected lines via Brent Wallace:

Dzingel - Duchene - Batherson
Tkachuk - White - Stone
Boedker - Tierney - Ryan
Pyatt - Smith - Paajarvi

Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie - Jaros
Harpur - Ceci

Anderson (starter)

My subjective thoughts:

  • It was weird seeing Tom Pyatt on the top line for “defensive responsibility”, though really Duchene had a rotating cast of wingers last game. Hopefully that top six stays mostly intact to help build familiarity.
  • Funny how every line Mark Stone plays on seems to be the top line, eh? I hope Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau buy him drinks regularly to thank him for their extensions. I wondering how much Brady Tkachuk and especially Colin White are benefiting now. Don’t get me wrong, I think both those guys are more skilled than Smith/Pageau, I just think that everyone’s point totals get inflated with Stone on their wing. OK players (Smith) becomes good players. Good players (White) become great players. Great players (Tkachuk) become sensations.
  • SportLogiQ had a recent stat that most forwards win 37% of their neutral zone puck battles, while Stone wins 68%. That’s incredible.
  • This is Ian Mendes’ point, but Stone’s role on this team is very Daniel Alfredsson-esque. He’s a right-winger who is the heart of this team. I remember a few years when Alfie, arguably still the team’s best forward in his last-30s, played on the second line to help bring Mika Zibanejad along. That’s kind of what Stone’s doing here — give Duchene the top line, while Stone helps bring White into a regular NHL scoring role.
  • The Rangers’ ice time leader is Neal Pionk, who I swear I heard of for the first time 5 hours ago.
  • Rachel McKenna (Mike’s wife) reminded us all about the effect call-ups and team uncertainties can have on a family:

It can’t be easy not knowing whether your husband will be in Ottawa for days, weeks, or the rest of the season. It also can’t be easy not knowing if you’ll be away from your family for days, weeks, or the rest of the season.

Here are the stats:

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Category Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 3.15 11th 3.24 9th
Goals Against/GP 3.92 31st 3.03 19th
Shots/GP 29.2 25th 32.0 13th
Shots Against/GP 37.4 31st 30.5 8th
Powerplay % 21.8 11th 13.4 30th
Penalty Kill % 74.5 28th 79.2 16th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 42.91 31st 49.86 15th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 43.25 31st 51.42 11th

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Washington Capitals
Ottawa Senators Washington Capitals
-- Player # Player #
Goals Mark Stone 18 Cam Atkinson 23
Assists Thomas Chabot 28 Artemi Panarin 29
Points Mark Stone 43 Artemi Panarin 41
Shots Thomas Chabot 100 Cam Atkinson 149
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 23:52 Seth Jones 26:18