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Game 69 Preview & Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ San Jose Sharks

Amid conversation swirling around the NHL’s response to COVID-19, the Sens head to California for their annual road trip

NHL: Ottawa Senators at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of your position on #TeamTank, everyone can agree on the result we want tonight: Go Sens Go.

Just two points separate the Ottawa Senators and the San Jose Sharks in the standings, and at the time of writing, the Sens currently own the third and fourth overall picks for the upcoming NHL Draft. It looks nearly impossible for the Sens to end up anything less than two top-seven picks — lottery results notwithstanding — a far cry from where Doug Wilson thought his team would be when he included an unprotected first-round pick in the Erik Karlsson trade two seasons ago.

The team announced a swap on defence after their win against the New York Islanders, with Christian Wolanin set to make his season debut tonight in lieu of Christian Jaros. Other than that, we’re expecting the same lineup for D.J. Smith’s crew:

Tkachuk - Anisimov - Ryan
Duclair - Tierney - Brown
Paul - White - Hawryluk
Balcers - Peca - Boedker

Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Wolanin - Englund

Anderson (starter)

Meanwhile, here’s what we expect from Bob Boughner’s San Jose Sharks, with Aaron Dell announced as the starter in goal:

Kane - Couture - Gambrell
Meier - Thornton - Labanc
Sorensen - Kellman - Noesen
Karlsson - True - Gregor

Simek - Burns
Vlasic - Ferraro
Davidson - Heed

Dell (starter)

Game Notes

  • With California’s COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, Santa Clara’s Public Health department recommended that the public avoid large gatherings like sports events where they’ll be in close proximity to a large amount of people. At the moment, the Sharks haven’t rescheduled any of their activities at SAP Center, but it’s definitely a situation worth keeping an eye on as the Sens traverse the state this week.
  • The Sharks haven’t really been healthy since the calendar turned to 2020. They shut down their best forward (Tomas Hertl) and best defenceman (Erik Karlsson) for the year, and prospect Jacob Middleton also went down with injury last week.
  • Wolanin returns to the lineup, but since the team hasn’t had a practice, I’m unsure as to who he’ll be lining up with. I’m imagining that he’ll play on his typical left-side, meaning that Andreas Englund or Mike Reilly — who looked good last time out — may need to slide over.
  • There’s not too many non-white players leading their team in goals, so kudos to Anthony Duclair (23) and Evander Kane (24) on their solid seasons. While Kane’s line has caché, the Meier - Thornton - Labanc trio will likely be the Sharks’ most dangerous tonight.
  • Colin White and Jayce Hawryluk have been really productive since being put together, with Hawryluk generating speed on the wing and able to chase down pucks, allowing White to focus on distributing and getting into quiet areas of the ice. I’d love to see them both shoot a little more, especially with goal-scoring history in both players’ past.

Here are some statistics, with most metrics from, except for Corsi% and xGF% from

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 Los Angeles Kings
Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
# Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.69 24th 2.52 30th
Goals against/GP 3.36 30th 3.00 14th
Shots/GP 30.7 21st 33.1 5th
Shots against/GP 33.5 29th 29.8 6th
Powerplay % 14.3 31st 16.9 26th
Penalty Kill % 76.1 26th 77.1 26th
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted) 48.25 26th 53.13 4th
xGF% (5v5, SVA) 49.74 19th 51.94 8th