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Game 57 Preview: Arizona Coyotes at Ottawa Senators

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The Sens host the Coyotes on Hockey is for Everyone night

Ottawa Senators v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Tonight, the Ottawa Senators play host to the Arizona Coyotes in their annual Hockey is for Everyone night. For the Sens, the outcome of this game doesn’t matter much in the sense that the team would probably be better off losing to improve their draft position. It’s been a testament to the players and the coaching staff that the team continues to play hard in spite of staring down what is clearly a lost season. The talent may not be there, but you cannot say that the team has cheated the fans on effort this year.

Arizona, however, finds itself in the second Wildcard spot in the Western Conference and desperately wants to make a return to the play-offs after several years of ignominy. You don’t trade for Taylor Hall, an unrestricted free agent that has made no promises he will stay beyond this season, if you aren’t banking on something of a run. For the Coyotes, these are the types of games they absolutely must win.

Here’s how DJ Smith is expected to line Ottawa up for tonight’s affair based on this morning’s skate:

Tkachuk - Pageau - Brown
Namestnikov - Tierney - Batherson
Paul - Anisimov - Duclair
Chlapik - White - Ennis

Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Borowiecki - DeMelo

Hogberg (starter)
Anderson

Game Notes:

  • As aforementioned, tonight is the Sens’ Hockey is for Everyone soiree. Here’s how the Sens describe HIFE:

Hockey is for Everyone™ uses the game of hockey - and the League’s global influence - to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.

We support any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink. We believe all hockey programs - from professionals to youth organizations - should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.

  • Noted Good Guy Mark Borowiecki is the team’s Hockey is for Everyone ambassador. He is expected to return to the line-up after missing the last game to be with his wife as she gave birth to the couple’s first child.
  • The Sens fell to the Avs 3-0 on Monday night, but it’s fair to say that they were competitive throughout the match. Marcus Hogberg was forced into several strong saves, but the Sens generated at least their share of good chances. Now, if only they could get a few finishers...
  • The Coyotes have achieved their success by getting contributions up and down their line-up. Nick Schmaltz is the leading point scorer at 39 points, but Arizona also has six (!) players with at least 30 points. That’s also excluding Taylor Hall who has 20 in 24 games with Arizona and 45 for the season if you combine his time in New Jersey and the desert.
  • The Coyotes have also gotten excellent goaltending from all three of the players that have occupied their crease this year. Although currently injured, Darcy Kuemper’s .929 SV% in all situations has him tied for second in the league.

As always, stats are courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick:

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
Category Player # Player #
Goals Anthony Duclair 23 Anze Kopitar 21
Assists Thomas Chabot 33 Anze Kopitar 41
Points Brady Tkachuk 43 Anze Kopitar 62
Shots Brady Tkachuk 258 Jeff Carter 182
TOI/GP Thomas Chabot 26:02 Drew Doughty 25:51

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators Arizona Coyotes
Ottawa Senators Arizona Coyotes
# Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.63 26th 2.71 23rd
Goals against/GP 3.32 28th 2.68 5th
Shots/GP 29.9 24th 31.3 18th
Shots against/GP 33.6 29th 32.3 22nd
Powerplay % 14.6 28th 18.8 20th
Penalty Kill % 78.8 20th 82.8 7th
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted) 47.23 27th 48.07 26th
Fenwick % (5v5, SVA) 47.71 27th 48.19 24th