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Game 4 Preview & Open Thread: Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators

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Tampa Bay Lightning v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andrea Cardin/NHLI via Getty Images

After losing a close contest to the defending Cup champs, the Senators welcome the 2020 (and 2019... and 2018) Cup favourites into town. Tampa’s coming off a high-scoring game of their own — a 7-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs — where their offence clicked almost every time they came down the ice.

Here’s how the team lined up in practice yesterday, courtesy of TSN1200:

Tkachuk - White - Ennis
Duclair - Tierney - Ryan
Namestnikov - Anisimov - Brown
Abramov - Pageau - Sabourin

Chabot - Zaitsev
Brannstrom - Hainsey
Borowiecki - DeMelo

Anderson (starter)
Nilsson

Here’s how we expect the Lightning to roll their team:

Stamkos - Point - Kucherov
Palat - Cirelli - Killorn
Joseph - Johnson - Gourde
Maroon - Verhaeghe - Witkowski

Hedman - Sergachev
McDonagh - Cernak
Coburn - Shattenkirk

Vasilevskiy (starter)
McElhinney

Game Notes

  • After three games, Scott Sabourin continues to co-lead the team in points with two. Connor Brown, Chris Tierney, Bobby Ryan, Brady Tkachuk, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau have the same total.
  • Thursday night against the Blues was Artem Anisimov’s best game in a Sens uniform. The veteran centre has a team-low 37% CF% and 27% xGF (via Natural Stat Trick), despite winning 58% of face-offs. Finding him a fit, potentially with the faster Namestnikov and Brown, is what D.J. Smith is hoping for.
  • I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how much Colin White and Brady Tkachuk have been able to hold their own without Mark Stone so far — especially the latter. White only has one point — an assist — to his name, and is struggling on faceoffs (33%), but is playing a much tougher position against the best players in the league. He’ll be lining up against Brayden Point tonight.
  • The early indications of the Thomas ChabotNikita Zaitsev pairing are... not good. They’re both sub-45% on shot attempts, shots on goal, and expected goals. The team’s other pairings (Brännström — Hainsey; Borowiecki — DeMelo) have been playing relatively well in terms of shot metrics, though. It’ll be interesting to see how long Smith keeps them together, or if he considers putting Hainsey with Chabot and giving Zaitsev softer minutes with the Swede.
  • Your friendly reminder that it’s only been three games, and thus, way too early to look at any metric of substance? Victor Hedman is rocking a 39% CF% this season.
  • Thursday night against Toronto was Point’s first game of the season, but his line with Stamkos and Kucherov left off where they were last season. All three are capable of scoring 80+ points, and will be a gigantic test tonight.
  • P.S. the game starts at 4:00pm EST today!

Stats

All stats from NHL.com, except Corsi/Fenwick from NaturalStatTrick.com

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk/Vladislav Namestnikov 2 Mark Stone/Reilly Smith 5
Assists Jean-Gabriel Pageau/Connor Brown 3 William Karlsson 7
Points Jean-Gabriel Pageau/Vladislav Namestnikov 4 Mark Stone 10
Shots Brady Tkachuk/Anthony Duclair 17 Max Pacioretty 28
Time On Ice Thomas Chabot 26:00 Shea Theodore 21:44

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
# Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.40 25th 3.71 7th
Goals against/GP 3.80 26th 2.71 10th
Shots/GP 29.4 23rd 33.9 8th
Shots against/GP 33.0 23rd 33.3 25th
Powerplay % 0.0 31st 29.2 7th
Penalty Kill % 81.8 15th 92.6 2nd
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted) 47.16 22nd 51.35 10th
Fenwick % (5v5, SVA) 47.95 22nd 50.98 14th