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Game 35 Preview: Nashville Predators @ Ottawa Senators

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Ottawa looks to avenge their 3-1 loss from six days ago.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

After a game in which the disparity between them and the NHL’s top-tier teams was on full display, the Ottawa Senators (14-15-4) will try to close that gap tonight when the Nashville Predators (22-10-1) come to town.

The Predators, who are currently sitting in second place in the Western Conference, are riding a three-game winning streak. One that began with a 3-1 win over Ottawa just six days ago. The Senators, meanwhile, are looking to reset after the third 5-2 loss to the Montréal Canadiens in a week and a half.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30ET, and you can catch this one on TSN5, TSN2, RDS, and FS-Tennessee for our friends in the land of country music. As always, Dean Brown and Gord Wilson will have the call on TSNRadio 1200, and Nasvhille’s WPRT-FM will also carry the game.

Mark Borowiecki will return to the lineup tonight, after missing the last 12 games with a broken hand. The Senators will run 7D, and Ryan Dzingel is now questionable after taking a bump from Zack Smith in practice. He left the ice favouring his left shoulder.

Craig Anderson starts tonight.

Game Notes:

  • It will be interesting to see which of Ottawa’s defencemen get bumped down into the “seventh D” role. With Boro returning tonight, I doubt it’s him. The likely candidate appears to be Justin Falk, as Christian Jaros is probably safe due to being one of only two right-handed defencemen.
  • Guy Boucher told the media, this morning, that Drake Batherson’s offensive chances began decreasing when Matt Duchene went down with an injury. While playing on the fourth line will likely do little to rectify that, perhaps Nick Paul can get the rookie some looks. Provided he plays at all.
  • Speaking of Nick Paul, he’s been the highlight of Ottawa’s fourth line the last two games. While that obviously isn’t saying much, Paul’s possession numbers have been solid. Hopefully he continues this upward trajectory.
  • Matt Duchene practiced today in a full-contact jersey. Guy Boucher told the media he hopes #95 will return Friday against the New Jersey Devils.
  • Dylan DeMelo also appears slated to return Friday.
  • After a hot start, Brady Tkachuk has just one point in his last nine games. The lack of stability in the lineup can’t be helping, but Tkachuk’s play has still been solid. Look for him to get back on the board tonight.
  • A look at the Preds’ probable line combos and pairings can be found at Left Wing Lock.

As always, here are some stats. Courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick:

Team Stats

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
Category Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 3.31 7th 2.94 18th
Goals Against/GP 3.86 31st 3.58 28th
Shots/GP 29.0 25th 33.2 6th
Shots Against/GP 38.0 31st 31.5 17th
Powerplay % 22.0 12th 17.1 21st
Penalty Kill % 73.8 30th 82.8 7th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 42.56 31st 49.64 20th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 43.02 31st 50.32 16th

Player Stats

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
-- Player # Player #
Goals Mark Stone 16 Kyle Palmieri 17
Assists Thomas Chabot 26 Taylor Hall 24
Points Mark Stone 39 Taylor Hall 33
Shots Thomas Chabot 94 Kyle Palmieri 106
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 24:23 Sami Vatanen 22:20