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Game 14 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of Sunday night’s contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off one of the worst losses (by score) in franchise history, the Senators host their expansion partners — the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning — in each franchise’s 2000th game in modern NHL history.

Despite the recent string of results using the tactic, Guy Boucher will continue to use his beloved 11-7 formation tonight. Mark Borowiecki will return in place of Erik Burgdoefer, so we’re looking at something like:

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

Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
Jaros

Anderson (starter)
McKenna

Extras: Erik Burgdoefer

The Lightning are also coming off a game Saturday night, but they emerged victorious against the Canadiens.

Miller - Stamkos - Kucherov
Gourde - Point - Johnson
Killorn - Cirelli - Joseph
Erne - Paquette - Callahan

McDonagh - Stralman
Koekkoek - Girardi
Sergachev - Coburn

Vasilevskiy (starter)
Domingue

Extras: Gaunce, Martel, Palat (inj.), Hedman (inj.)

Game Notes

  • The Bolts are 7-2-1 in their last 10, own the fourth best goal differential in the league, and are one point behind Nashville for tops in the league in points. Somehow, the Sens managed to split the season-series against them last season, scoring 13 goals in their two wins. They’ll likely need an offensive explosion tonight to keep pace.
  • As always, the Bolts look potent offensively — with a high percentage of shots from the slot and left point (“the Sergachev effect”). One of the biggest strengths this season has been their penalty kill, which is sitting at 93% and prevents anything in tight against their goaltenders.
  • While local boy Slater Koekkoek continues to struggle, the Bolts have seamlessly fit in two new rookies — Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph — in top-nine roles alongside Alex Killorn. Syracuse, the team’s AHL affiliate, are coming off back-to-back wins over the Belleville Senators, and the Lightning organization continue to be a thorn in the Sens side at all levels.
  • Meanwhile, in Ottawa, you can expect the Sens to come out with a fire under their butts. Will it be enough to rebound against Tampa Bay? The team’s performance against Buffalo might have been ugly in terms of goals against, but the team’s performance has been poor the last five games. Here’s shots against, with the score in brackets: 37 (6-3L), 53 (4-3L), 35 (5-1L), 48 (4-2W), 41 (9-2L).
  • If the Sens find a way to win, it’ll come off the backs of Ryan Dzingel (who scored yesterday) and Mark Stone (who remains the team’s only regular forward who’s winning the shot battle). Trying to maximize Thomas Chabot’s opportunities to transition the puck and find gaps can help generate offence off the rush against a Bolts team that is missing Victor Hedman on the back-end.

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Category Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 3.23 11th 3.46 6th
Goals Against/GP 4.23 31st 2.69 6th
Shots/GP 28.2 27th 33.8 4th
Shots Against/GP 38.7 31st 31.9 16th
Powerplay % 24.4 11th 26.1 6th
Penalty Kill % 38.9 29th 93.9 1st
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 42.46 30th 52.86 7th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 42.79 29th 52.11 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