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Game 7 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Vancouver Canucks

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Nowhere to go but up, right?

Ottawa Senators v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators (1-4-1) have not gotten off to the start they had hoped for.

After losing five straight games following an opening night win - the latest of which was a 7-1 smackdown at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks - the Sens are in desperate need of a turnaround. They can kickstart that effort tonight, with a rematch against those same Canucks (3-5-0), in the first of a back-to-back set.

Puckdrop is scheduled for 8pmEST, and you can catch this one on Rogers Sportsnet, as well as TVAS for our francophone friends. Of course, Dean Brown and Gord Wilson will have the radio call on TSN 1200.

After his team’s lacklustre effort two nights ago, Senators head coach D.J. Smith promised to shuffle the lineup, in an effort to light a fire under his team. All we have to go on are yesterday’s practice combos, but the most notable change would be the insertion of Colin White into the middle six. As is the case this season, expect to hear a goalie announcement at the eleventh hour, but the lines should shake out something like this:

Tkachuk - Norris - Batherson
Stützle - Tierney - C. Brown
Paul - White - Dadonov
Paquette - Stepan - Watson

Chabot - Gudbranson
Reilly - Zaitsev
Wolanin - Coburn

Murray (starter?)

Game Thoughts:

  • Despite leaving the previous game with a lower body injury, Cedric Paquette should play tonight.
  • Colin White is getting a great opportunity to cement his spot in the lineup. Off the fourth line, and playing with arguably the team’s best forward so far in Nick Paul, White has to make good on this chance.
  • The seven goals that Matt Murray gave up on Monday were his most in a single game since January 16th, 2017. He gave up seven to the Washington Capitals, on 28 shots.
  • Expect Thatcher Demko to start for the Canucks.
  • Canucks superstar Elias Pettersson was held pointless in the 7-1 drubbing of Ottawa. He has just two points on the season, and if that’s not a guy who’s struggling, I don’t know what is.
  • Drake Batherson is still looking for his first goal of the season. He’s had plenty of chances, so don’t be surprised if he finally breaks through tonight.