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Game 54 Preview & Open Thread: Colorado Avalanche @ Ottawa Senators

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Tough test for the kids tonight.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of a three-game losing streak, the Ottawa Senators (18-24-11) face a daunting task tonight, in hosting the Colorado Avalanche (29-16-6). The Avs are coming off of a 6-1 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres, and it’s Ottawa’s last home game for seven days.

One lineup change to report tonight, as Nick Paul draws in for the injured Vladislav Namestnikov. Paul last suited up in Washington on January 7th, where he suffered a nasty-looking lower body injury. Marcus Hogberg is expected to start tonight, so the Senators lineup should look something like this, with the caveat that White and Anisimov could flip based on yesterday’s practice lines:

Tkachuk - Pageau - C. Brown
Ennis - White - Batherson
Paul - Tierney - Duclair
Chlapik - Anisimov - Sabourin

Chabot - Hainsey
Borowiecki - Zaitsev
Reilly - DeMelo

Hogberg (starter)
Anderson

Game Notes:

  • Though Namestnikov won’t play tonight, D.J. Smith said he is just “sore”, and hopes to have him back in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon. Names blocked a shot against Anaheim, and left the game in the second period.
  • The possibility of switching White and Anisimov likely has to do with pumping the latter’s trade value by playing with Drake Batherson, who is on fire, but I’d love to see the 63-36-19 combo stay together. They’ve arguably been Ottawa’s best line of late, and White had one of his best games of the year on Tuesday.
  • Speaking of Batherson, he has five points in his last five games. Look for him to continue the really good pace tonight.
  • Anthony Duclair’s goalless drought is now up to 15 games. YIKES.
  • As far as the Avs go, TSN1200 tweeted this interesting little tidbit:

Here are tonight’s pregame stats, 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