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Game 20 Preview & Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres

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The Sens hit the road for the second half of their back-to-back.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

“The Ottawa Senators are winning games” isn’t the sentence I was expecting to open this preview with, but here we are. The Sens have won four of their last five games, including last night’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Playoffs are still a massive long shot after their expectedly treacherous start, but the team has been rolling as of late.

There’s no morning skate today due to the team’s travel schedule, meaning the lines and pairings will likely stay the same from yesterday. The only confirmed difference is the starting goalie with Craig Anderson getting the nod.

Paul - Pageau - C. Brown
Namestnikov - White - Ennis
Tkachuk - L. Brown - Duclair
Chlapik - Tierney - Ryan

Chabot - Zaitsev
Borowiecki - DeMelo
Brannstrom - Hainsey

Anderson (starter)
Nilsson

Game Notes

  • The Senators have lost eleven games. The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost twelve games. I’ll let you do the math.
  • While the Senators have been racking up wins, the Sabres have been the NHL’s coldest team as of late, having lost their last six straight. They managed to get a point against Carolina on Thursday, but they’re still searching for their first win in November.
  • Curtis Lazar is expected to play against his former team for the third time tonight. He played his first game of the season against the Hurricanes, scoring his first NHL goal since February 2018.
  • In his first game back from injury, Logan Brown was Ottawa’s leader in ice time on the power play. It’s great to see D.J. Smith finally starting to show some trust to the rookies, including Filip Chlapik.
  • Mark Borowiecki, of all people, is riding a three-game point streak, and is on pace for 35 points in 82 games. That’s more than triple his career high.
  • The NHL’s worst power play (Ottawa) takes on one of the NHL’s weakest penalty kills (Buffalo). Which one will prevail?
  • Game time is 7:00 PM, and you can catch the game on SN1, TVAS2 or MSG-B.

Here are some stats for tonight’s matchup from NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick:

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers
Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers
Category Player # Player #
Goals Jean-Gabriel Pageau 15 Oskar Lindblom 11
Assists Thomas Chabot, Connor Brown 14 Travis Konecny 17
Points Jean-Gabriel Pageau 21 Travis Konecny 27
Shots Brady Tkachuk 107 Claude Giroux 95
Time On Ice Thomas Chabot 25:10 Ivan Provorov 24:50

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers
Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers
# Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.62 24th 3.07 13th
Goals against/GP 3.10 20th 2.66 6th
Shots/GP 30.2 22nd 32.8 10th
Shots against/GP 32.3 22nd 28.9 4th
Powerplay % 9.9 31st 18.6 17th
Penalty Kill % 82.1 14th 84.1 10th
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted) 48.39 23rd 51.97 7th
Fenwick % (5v5, SVA) 49.36 17th 50.78 11th