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Game 64 Preview: Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators

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Hopefully this one goes a little better than Monday.

Edmonton Oilers v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

With the first game in the post-Mark Stone era going a little worse than they’d hoped, the Ottawa Senators (22-36-5) will attempt to get their first win without the Big 3 tonight, when they take on the visiting Edmonton Oilers (26-30-7).

The Senators are looking to snap a five-game losing streak, most recently being stomped 7-2 by the Washington Capitals on Monday night. The Oilers, meanwhile, are in the second game of an Ontario back-to-back, following a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs last night.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30ET, and you can catch this one on TSN5 and RDS, as well as Sportsnet West for our friends in the Heartland. As always, Dean Brown and Gord Wilson will have the call on TSNRadio 1200, and Edmonton radio station CHED will also feature a broadcast.

Ottawa will go 12&6 tonight, but before you get too excited, Christian Wolanin is a healthy scratch for some reason. Rudolfs Balcers is out tonight with an illness, and the recalled Drake Batherson will play in his spot. Craig Anderson starts.

Expect the Ottawa lineup to look something like this:

Tkachuk - White - Duclair
Smith - Pageau - Ryan
Boedker - Tierney - Batherson
Paajarvi - Lindberg - Gibbons

Chabot - DeMelo
Borowiecki - Ceci
Harpur - Jaros

Anderson (starter)
Nilsson

Game Notes:

  • Guy Boucher said today that all playing time henceforth will be decided based on merit, not reputation or draft status. Considering Christian Wolanin is out tonight, and Ben Harpur is in, it’s hard to take the coach’s words to heart.
  • Watch to see how much icetime Drake Batherson gets tonight. Again, not holding my breath, but I don’t understand the point of a call-up if he’s not going to play Top-6 minutes. If you’re going to recall someone to play in the ballpark of 10mins a night, it might as well be Darren Archibald.
  • Anthony Duclair has looked impressive in his first two games as an Ottawa Senator. His defensive game needs some polish, but his offensive instincts and ability have been on full-display. Duclair was rewarded with a beautiful first goal as a Senator against Washington.
  • It will be interesting to see what kind of performance Craig Anderson turns in tonight. He’s been up and down this season, so hopefully he can start racking up some consistently good performances. Not easy with the crew in front of him.
  • Expect to see a pissed-off Edmonton Oilers team tonight. Connor McDavid is in his second game back after a two-game suspension, and following a lacklustre performance against the Leafs, Edmonton will be hungry to get back into the “win” column.
  • Mikko Koskinen starts in net tonight for the Oilers.
  • You can find the Oilers’ probable line combinations and pairings at Left Wing Lock.

As always, here are some stats. Courtesy of 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