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Game 60 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ New Jersey Devils

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With the season series tied 1-1, who takes the lead tonight?

NHL: Ottawa Senators at New Jersey Devils Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off an exhausting 8-7 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Ottawa Senators (22-32-5) will look to regain some semblance of structure, when they take on the New Jersey Devils (23-29-8) tonight at Prudential Center.

Both teams are looking to rebound after close losses, with the Senators falling 8-7 to the Hawks on Monday night, and the Devils dropping a 4-3 decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00ET, and you can catch this one on TSN5, RDS2, as well as MSG+ for our friends south of the border. As always, Dean Brown and Gord Wilson will have the call on TSN1200, and the Devils Hockey Network will also feature a radio broadcast.

There have been plenty of questions and controversy regarding the Senators’ lineup tonight. All signs point to them sitting Matt Duchene to prevent injury before an imminent trade, but neither him nor head coach Guy Boucher have confirmed it. My guess is Duchene doesn’t play tonight, but Boucher says the decision will be made at gametime. Darren Archibald and Filip Chlapik have been recalled from Belleville, one will play tonight.

Bobby Ryan has also been ill, and no starting goaltender has been announced for tonight, so take this projected lineup with a grain of salt.

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

Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie - Ceci
Harpur - Jaros

Nilsson (starter)
Anderson

Game Notes

  • It seems that Chlapik will be the call-up that plays tonight. He was made available to the media this morning, and it makes sense to have a natural centre fill into Matt Duchene’s spot. Hopefully he gets Top-6 minutes, otherwise what’s the point?
  • The last time these two teams met up was December 21st, 2018. The Devils took advantage of a porous Ottawa defence en route to a 5-2 win. With the Sens finally getting some stability back between the pipes, look for this one to be a little closer tonight.
  • The indication appears that Mark Stone will play tonight, not being sat like Duchene to avoid injury. Hopefully this indicates progress in ongoing contract negotiations, and not gross mismanagement on the part of the Senators. We’ll see what happens.
  • The Devils are a depleted group tonight, missing at least Taylor Hall and Pavel Zacha. The Sens need to take advantage of situations like this.
  • You can find the Devils likely line combos and pairings at Left Wing Lock.

As always, 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