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Game 81 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Two more games to go.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017-18 Ottawa Senators season comes to a close this weekend, as they conclude with back-to-back games starting tonight. The first one is against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have had their playoff spot locked down for a while.

The Sens will be without their two best players in Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone for the final two games, although Bobby Ryan will return to the lineup after leaving mid-way through Wednesday’s game against Buffalo.

Craig Anderson will play tonight, with the plan to give Danny Taylor the start tomorrow.

Here are the practice lines from yesterday:

Hoffman - Duchene - White
Burrows - Pageau - Ryan
Paajarvi - Smith - Pyatt
McCormick - Chlapik - Dzingel

Borowiecki - Chabot
Harpur - Ceci
Claesson - Wolanin


Game Notes

  • Derick Brassard won’t be facing his former team tonight, as he’s out with a lower body injury. Since the February trade, he has eight points in fourteen games for the Penguins, while becoming a staple next to Phil Kessel.
  • On the topic of the trade, Ottawa still has Pittsburgh’s first round pick for this season’s draft. Even though a win tonight would hurt their odds of finishing second last (they can still pass Arizona and Montreal), it would instead hurt the Pens’ odds of facing a weaker opponent in round one. Their most likely opponent is the Columbus Blue Jackets, although they can still finish as low as the first wild card with Columbus and New Jersey only a point behind.
  • Ottawa’s odds of winning the first overall pick remain at a steady 13%.
  • It has been revealed that Thomas Chabot has accepted his offer to play for Team Canada at the World Championships. Ryan O’Reilly and Mathew Barzal are the other confirmed members thus far.
  • An update was also provided yesterday on Marian Gaborik, as he received successful surgery in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disk. The timeline for recovery is approximately eight weeks, which should take him until the beginning of June. The buyout window closes on June 30th, which is relevant because injured players can’t have their contracts bought out. Gaborik looks to be a potential candidate for Ottawa.
  • Lastly, deepest condolences to Tina and the entire Pitre family, as the sad news broke this morning that Jonathan has passed away. He was an inspiration to many and a fearless fighter; the Sens have lost a teammate today.

Here are some head-to-head stats from and Natural Stat Trick:

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
-- Player # Player #
Goals Matt Duchene 27 Brad Marchand 34
Assists Erik Karlsson (out) 53 Brad Marchand 51
Points Karlsson/Stone (both out) 62 Brad Marchand 85
Shots Mike Hoffman 253 David Pastrnak 236
TOI/GP Erik Karlsson (out) 26:44 Zdeno Chara 22:53

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
Category Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 2.68 25th 3.25 6th
Goals against/GP 3.44 30th 2.56 3rd
Shots/GP 30.7 24th 32.8 11th
Shots against/GP 33.0 25th 29.3 2nd
Powerplay % 16.7 26th 23.5 4th
Penalty Kill % 76.2 27th 83.3 4th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 46.32 29th 53.97 2nd
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 46.94 27th 54.01 1st