The Ottawa Senators struggled to three losses in three games this past week, though two of them did make it to extra time and so the team manged to come away with two points. Nonetheless, the losing streak was extended to six games with the defeat on Saturday to the Montreal Canadiens. After a tough week, it might not come as a surprise that our Three Stars are not the usual suspects:
First Star: Marcus Hogberg
The young Swedish goalie has had his ups and down this season, but it’s probably fair to say that he just turned in his best week as an NHL keeper. Hogberg appeared in all three games after Craig Anderson was pulled in the 6-1 defeat to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, and he was stellar in the two games he started against Detroit and Montreal. Hogberg stopped 59 of the 64 shots he faced overall, a tidy .922 SV%, and he was the principal reason the Sens even had a chance to win the game on Friday against Detroit.
Second Star: Colin White
The much-maligned White potted two points this week to lead the team this week, including a goal against Detroit on a nice deflection. White’s underlying shot metrics were also solid, as the Sens more than broke even in shots, xGF% and scoring chances while he was on the ice 5v5. He also spent some productive time with Batherson and Tkachuk in the Detroit game and then was part of a line with Duclair and Batherson against Montreal that drummed up some high quality chances. In what’s clearly been a disappointing year, these were three of his better games.
Third Star: Mike Reilly
The recently-acquired Reilly earned the third star nod by virtue of picking up an assist on White’s goal against Detroit, and generally looking like a competent, puck-moving defenseman this week. Reilly got some sheltered deployment, but the Sens had some stellar results with him on the ice and DJ Smith even gave Reilly some run in the overtime sessions against Detroit and Montreal. The knock on Reilly has always been the defensive side of things, but for this week at least that didn’t give him too much trouble.
Trending Up: Filip Chlapik
Chlapik was recalled before the Detroit game and played a season-high 13:16 against the Red Wings, including several shifts with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Connor Brown late in the third period of a tied game. Chlapik has looked more and more comfortable with each recall, and he was unlucky not to snag at least a point or two. He’ll always be in a fight for those bottom six minutes, but he certainly will have given Smith something to think about after his performance this week.
Trending Down: Anthony Duclair
Duclair’s breakout goal-scoring has been one of the Sens’ best stories this year, but he’s also running a bit cold these days with just one point in his last five games (none this week) and no goals in seven. Furthermore, Duclair posted a wretched 31.43 CF% this week at 5v5 and the Sens only scored one goal while giving up four in even strength situations with him on the ice. The All-Star hasn’t had too many spells like this all year.
Who to Watch for: Dylan DeMelo
DeMelo returned to the line-up on Tuesday against the Capitals and was back to playing big minutes alongside Thomas Chabot. DeMelo’s underlying metrics look great for the three games, and his over 25 minutes a game were second only to Chabot. He moved the puck well and despite looking a wee bit rusty early on he was clearly a net positive. Look for him to play a big role in the weeks to come.
-Nikita Zaitsev is skating on his own, and the timeline for his return remains murky
-Anders Nilsson also remains sidelined with the on-going effects of his concussion
-Nick Paul suffered what looked to be a serious injury against the Caps and is expected to miss a couple of weeks