On the heels of a somewhat disappointing trip to Florida, the Sens return home to face the Nashville Predators. After signing Matt Duchene in the off-season, the Preds were one of the pre-season favourites but so far have mostly failed to live up to the hype. Their 16-12-5 record isn’t awful, but they currently sit outside of a play-off spot in the Western Conference and have gone through long stretches of mediocre play. Nonetheless, this is one of the most talented squads in the entire league and their 8-3 demolition of the New York Islanders on Monday shows that they should never be taken lightly.
The Sens, meanwhile, limped out of Florida after falling to both the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. With Nikita Zaitsev on the IR and Dylan DeMelo still out long-term, expect to see major minutes again for Thomas Chabot who played an astonishing 37:50 in Monday’s OT loss to Tampa. Anders Nilsson was expected to be back between the pipes for this one, but the team announced this afternoon that he is ill. This means that it is Marcus Hogberg who will get the start and emergency recall Filip Gustavsson backing up. Hogberg was solid against the Bolts after a shaky first goal, and he gets an unexpected chance to follow that up right away at home. Here’s how the Sens lined up in the morning skate :
- Tonight’s affair features the return of some old friends, Kyle Turris and Matt Duchene. Turris has been through some ups and downs during his time in Nashville and was a healthy scratch for seven straight games amidst some notable friction with his coach.
- One of the reasons Nashville hasn’t quite hit its stride yet has been the poor play of Pekka Rinne. The 37 (!) year-old boasts an .894 SV% in all situations, so maybe Father Time does come for us all eventually.
- Logan Brown will continue to see some time on the wing tonight as Beaudin is currently penciled as the fourth-line centre. Brown’s had his defensive struggles this year, but his long-term future in the NHL is very likely at centre. Here’s to hoping this is just a brief detour.
- After an outrageously hot start to the season, Pageau’s goal-scoring pace has slowed and the speedy centre only has one goal in his last seven games. The good news is that the defensive play is still there and he and Tkachuk and Brown have formed a very effective checking line.
|Goals||Anthony Duclair||21||Elias Lindholm||20|
|Assists||Thomas Chabot||23||Johnny Gaudreau||25|
|Points||Anthony Duclair||32||Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau||38|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||167||Johnny Gaudreau||141|
|Time On Ice||Thomas Chabot||26:34||Mark Giordano||24:11|
|Penalty Kill %||81.5||13th||78.2||22nd|
|Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)||46.65||28th||49.59||19th|
|Fenwick % (5v5, SVA)||47.61||24th||50.29||15th|