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Game 82 Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets @ Ottawa Senators

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The season ends as we all expected — with nothing to play for

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators
Is this why Dorion traded for Duclair?
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Game 82 folks, which means we’ve come to the end. We were surprised to see the Senators rise to 20th in the league early in the season, only to see them crash to the bottom, trade away their top three scorers, and then actually play a little better but not well enough to get out of last in the league. There will be lots of season review pieces published over the next few weeks, but it’s hard to look at this season as anything other than a disaster interspersed with a few bright spots. We expected it to be awful, and almost everything we expected ended up happening. Which brings us to tonight’s game, with the Sens guaranteed to finish last.

The Blue Jackets at least have a bit to play for, in hoping to play the Capitals instead of the Lightning, and as such look to be playing their full roster. Look for Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel to try to prove themselves against the team they started the year with. Craig Anderson starts tonight. Here are the projected lines:

Boedker - Pageau - Veronneau
Ducalair - Tierney - Ryan
Tkachuk - White - Gibbons
Smith - Lindberg - Paajarvi

Chabot - DeMelo
Englund - Ceci
Borowiecki - Jaros

Anderson (starter)
Nilsson

Some thoughts:

  • Craig Anderson gets the start tonight. With Joey Daccord now under contract (and a healthy scratch for this game), I can’t imagine this is Andy’s last game as a Senator. Likely Anders Nilsson will leave over the summer, and Anderson will be back for another year while one of the young guys gets a shot to back up.
  • Brady Tkachuk is on a nice little hot streak, with nine points in his last nine games. It’s great to see him succeed without Mark Stone on his line.
  • Not sure how Boedker goes from healthy scratch to what’s nominally the top line, but at the same time it hardly matters.
  • Ben Harpur was reportedly out on Thursday due to “illness”, but now he’s listed as out due to concussion. Not sure how that changed.
  • Duchene and Dzingel have been struggling post-trade, with 12 points each in 22 and 20 games respectively. To be fair, their ice time is down about 2-3 minutes each per game, which can’t help with scoring (and likely isn’t helping Lumbus).

Stats:

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Category Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 2.96 16th 3.09 12th
Goals Against/GP 3.64 31st 2.83 11th
Shots/GP 29.6 25th 31.7 16th
Shots Against/GP 35.9 31st 29.5 7th
Powerplay % 20.3 14th 15.4 28th
Penalty Kill % 79.2 23rd 85.0 2nd
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 43.97 31st 50.64 11th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 44.65 31st 51.50 11th

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
-- Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk 22 Cam Atkinson 41
Assists Thomas Chabot 41 Artemi Panarin 57
Points Thomas Chabot 54 Artemi Panarin 85
Shots Brady Tkachuk 212 Cam Atkinson 288
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 24:13 Seth Jones 25:54