In a rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup finals, the Anaheim Ducks roll into Ottawa to face the Senators. Unlike the glory days, in 2020 a February game between Anaheim and Ottawa is more aptly described as an entry in the Great Tank Battles for Lafreniere. As the season progresses, more and more of the Sens’ games will look like this: individual players have a lot at stake, but the outcome of the game itself won’t be of the utmost importance. What we can hope for is some decent hockey along the way.
On a different note, tonight’s game will also feature the NHL’s Black History Month Mobile Museum. For those attending the game, be sure to check it out in front of Gate 1.
Here’s how we’re guessing DJ Smith might line the Sens up after an optional skate this morning:
Namestnikov - Tierney - Duclair
Ennis - White - Batherson
Chlapik - Anisimov - Sabourin
Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - DeMelo
Borowiecki - Zaitsev
- Nick Paul participated in a full practice on Monday, but took the optional skate this morning along with Cody Goloubef, Mikkel Boedker and Craig Anderson so he will not play tonight. Nonetheless, his return is drawing near.
- Drake Batherson, aka #BathTime, has been on a bit of run lately with four points in his last four games. He seems to have earned more of Smith’s trust, too: the youngster played at least 15 minutes in each of those four game and he’s seeing substantial time on the power play.
- The Ducks are going through a forgettable season and, like Ottawa, are desperately in need of young talent. The principal difference between this year’s bottom-dwellers and the more competent previous iterations is that John Gibson has stopped performing at a superstar level. His .904 SV% is a fairly dramatic step back from the .922 he averaged in the previous four years.
- Nonetheless, the Ducks do still possess some respectable talent up front including a line with the bald wonder Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell and former Senator Jakob Silfverberg. Expect the Pageau line to shoulder the responsibility of shutting down Anaheim’s top trio.
- Mark Borowiecki scored again on Saturday vs. the Leafs and he’s now on pace for 11 (!) goals. Meanwhile Thomas Chabot, the supposed offensive juggernaut on the Sens’ blueline, has five goals for the campaign. At the start of the year, if you’d wagered that Boro would have more goals than Chabot at this point in the season you’d have made a pretty coin.
Here are tonight’s pregame stats, courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick:
|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|
|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|