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Game 58 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Winnipeg Jets

The Sens head into Winnipeg with rumours swirling around the team

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight February, the Sens have their fanbase checking notifications like they’re a nervous wreck. Hence, it’s no surprise that as the team heads into Winnipeg — hometown of homegrown star, Mark Stone — tensions are at a high.

You might recall that last week, the Sens — these Sens — beat the Central-division leading Jets by a convincing score of 5-2. The lineup looks similar, with Anders Nilsson starting in goal. The two changes? Filip Gustavsson will be backing up while Craig Anderson continues to recover from his injury, and Darren Archibald will enter the lineup in lieu of Mark Borowiecki — meaning the Sens will go 12-6:

Dzingel - Duchene - Ryan
Tkachuk - White - Stone
Smith - Pageau - Paajarvi
Balcers - Tierney - Archibald

Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie - Ceci
Harpur - Jaros

Nilsson (starter)

The Jets will look roughly the same, too, with backup Laurent Brossoit hoping for a better outcome tonight. The one change is on defence, with call-up Sami Niku (more on him later) in for an injured Byfuglien:

Connor - Scheifele - Wheeler
Laine - Little - Roslovic
Perreault - Lowry - Tanev
Lemieux - Copp - Appleton

Morrisey - Trouba
Chariot - Niku
Kulikov - Myers

Brossoit (starter)

Extras: Ehlers (inj.), Byfuglien (inj.)

Game Notes

  • Ryan Dzingel missed practice yesterday, starting a maelstrom of speculation, but it turns out that he was nursing a minor injury. He will play tonight. Are the Sens willing to risk him getting injured? Does that mean he’s more likely to stay? Are they just silly?
  • Since there hasn’t been any progress on signing the UFAs over the last week, we’ve started to hear more about the teams interested in the Sens. With Dorion and MacTavish out scouting a Jets game recently and hockey ops in town tonight, I thought I’d point out some of Winnipeg’s young players as options for the Sens if deals do go down.
  • Starting with the NHLers who you’ll see tonight: Jack Roslovic, Nic Petan, Brendan Lemieux, Mason Appleton, Andrew Copp, and Sami Niku are all potential candidates to be included in a deal. Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor — the Jets two best young players — are likely to stay in Winnipeg.
  • In the system: Kristian Vesalainen is the prize, while David Gustafsson, Michael Spacek, Declan Chisholm, Giovani Vallati, Leon Gawanke, and Dylan Samberg all intrigue me.
  • I know a significant majority of us would like to see the Sens re-sign Stone (and to a slightly lesser extent, Duchene and Dzingel), but if one was traded to Winnipeg, who would you like to see in return?

Here are some stats, via and Natural Stat Trick:

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Winnipeg Jets
Ottawa Senators Winnipeg Jets
-- Player # Player #
Goals Mark Stone, Matt Duchene 26 Mark Scheifele 30
Assists Thomas Chabot 33 Blake Wheeler 56
Points Mark Stone 57 Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler 68
Shots Mark Stone, Thomas Chabot 137 Patrik Laine 191
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 23:56 Dustin Byfuglien 24:26