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Game 59 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Chicago Blackhawks

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The Sens take on the surging Blackhawks in Chicago.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Just weeks ago, the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks were both in contention for the league’s last place spot. The teams have gone in different directions since, with Ottawa falling further down, and the Hawks winning seven games in a row, going 8-2-0 in their last ten.

Craig Anderson was questionable whether he will return today after missing the last two weeks after injuring his eye. He’s not quite ready to play, as Anders Nilsson will start for the sixth consecutive game. Andy will still serve as the backup with Filip Gustavsson sent down yesterday, so in the case that Nilsson gets yanked, Anderson would play in his 600th career game.

Mikkel Boedker is guaranteed to make his return, with Darren Archibald sent to Belleville yesterday. Jack Rodewald was also sent down after being activated off IR.

Here are the anticipated lines and pairings ahead of today’s game:

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

Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie - Ceci
Harpur - Jaros

Nilsson (starter)
Anderson

Game Notes

  • A handful of Blackhawks players have been on fire as of late. Patrick Kane notably has 22 points in his last ten games, and is riding a league-high seventeen-game point streak.
  • Dylan Strome, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat all have sixteen points in their last ten.
  • As for the Sens, the hottest players have been, you guessed it, Duchene, Stone and Dzingel. The UFA trio has recorded a point on 21 of Ottawa’s last 25 goals. One week until deadline day.
  • Going under the radar is Chris Tierney, who’s on a five-game point streak with six assists in that span.
  • Mark Stone wasn’t skating yesterday as a maintenance day, but took part in today’s optional skate. Matt Duchene did not. Make of it what you will.
  • Game time is 8:30. You can catch the broadcast on TSN 5.

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

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues
Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues
Category Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 2.93 18th 2.87 19th
Goals Against/GP 3.71 31st 2.75 7th
Shots/GP 29.9 23rd 31.6 16th
Shots Against/GP 36.0 31st 28.6 3rd
Powerplay % 20.0 14th 20.4 13th
Penalty Kill % 79.4 22nd 80.8 13th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 44.49 31st 51.61 9th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 45.01 31st 52.36 9th

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues
Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues
-- Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk 16 Vladimir Tarasenko 28
Assists Thomas Chabot 36 Ryan O'Reilly 41
Points Thomas Chabot 49 Ryan O'Reilly 67
Shots Brady Tkachuk 170 Vladimir Tarasenko 235
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 24:03 Alex Pietrangelo 23:51