It was not intentional but this series is conviently timed to begin before the Senators make their first trip south of the border since March 2020, and leave the eastern time zone so start times will be odd.
*All start times are ET*
Friday October 29th 8:30 pm @ Dallas
Season record: 3-3-1
Last 10: 3-3-1
Previous meetings this season: 3-2 win on Oct. 17th for Ottawa
Series record since 2019-20: 2-1 Ottawa
- Ben Bishop LTIR (Knee)
A trip south of the border, must be time to play someone we haven't faced in awhile. Oh, it's Dallas again. A 3-2 win thanks to Chris Tierney being in the right spots at the right time twice, both on the powerplay, helped Ottawa collect 2 points. The game was also the season debut for Gustavsson as he saved 32 of 34 shots in his only start so far this year. Another notable line-up note from that game is that it was the last we saw of Michael Del Zotto, although after allowing 7 goals last game that might change. Tkachuk will be playing this game after missing the last matchup, and although the first game between these teams involved a Josh Brown vs Jamie Benn fight the game wasn't overly physical. Connor Brown had 3 of his 4 points this season in the first matchup.
The Stars will have some reinforcements that missed the last game due to injury. John Klingberg back in the lineup after he missed the previous metting, 4 games total, with a lower body injury. Klingberg will help solidify the top 4 for the Stars which might be the best D-corps the Sens have faced this season. Up front the stars get last year's caleder runner up in Jason Robertson who returned Wednesday, along with 3rd liner Blake Coleman. Robertson put up 45 points last year to finish second in the league and was a mainstay on the Stars top line.
In net Khudobin had a good game in Ottawa in his lone start of the year making 24 saves and having 2 goals come via deflection. Braden Holtby has started for Dallas the rest of the season and had quite a bit of success last year while in Vancouver allowing 5 goals in 3 appearances, with 2 wins while posting a save percentage of .946. The weakness for the Stars is an offence that has not scored more than 3 goals in regulation this season. Thier leader in poins is a defenceman averaging over 26 minutes a night, so expect watching Miro Heiskanen (2G, 5A) to feel like watching a Chabot clone.
Monday November 1st 8:00 pm @ Chicago
Season record: 0-5-2
Last 10: 0-5-2
Previous meetings this season: None
Series record since 2019-20: 1-0 Chicago
- Caleb Jones LTIR (Wrist)
Chicago has been having a terrible start to ther season even with the additions of Jonathan Towes (missed last year due to a medical condition), Seth Jones, Marc-Andre Fleury and to an extent Kirby Dach who only played 18 games last year. Being one of two teams without a win the Blackhawks it becomes obvious when you notice they're one of four teams scoring less than 2 goals per game while also being one of two to allow over 4 goals per game. COVID is currently taking out Patrick Kane amongst a few others but they are expected to be back by Monday's game. A defenceman is leading another opponent in points, this time it's Seth Jones with all 6 of his points coming via assist, the defence has been less than stellar though as he has the worst +/- on the team at -9.
The goaltending has definetly not helped the team as up until their 7th game of the season they had not held a lead, although a 2-0 lead over Toronto isn't something worth celebrating with how bad they've been. Fleury's "best" start this year was stopping 32 of 36 shots in the season opener for a .889 save percentage. As a result the Blackhawks have split the starts between Fleury and last year's starter Kevin Lankinen who put up a 2.91 GAA and .899 save percentage last year in 37 starts.
The last time Ottawa made a visit it was an 8-7 loss all the way back in February 2019. All 4 goalies made an appearance in the game between Craig Anderson, Anders Nilsson, Cam Ward and Collin Delia but only 1 of those goalies is still in the NHL, although Delia is playing in the AHL for Chicago;s affiliate so maybe he makes a suprise appearance. Alex Debrincat put up 5 points including a hat trick in the game and if you want a real reminder how long ago the game was, the sens 2nd line of Tkachuk, White and Mark Stone put up 3 points each.
Tuesday November 2nd 8:00 pm @ Minnesota
Season record: 5-2
Last 10: 5-2
Previous meetings this season: None
Series record since 2019-20: 2-0 Minnesota
- Alex Goligoski Undisclosed
- Dmitri Kulikov Undisclosed
They have a great record to start the year, a deeper look though reveals they have won every game by 1 goal and have a negative goal differential at -1. The Wild made the playoffs last year but lost some key leadership pieces through buyouts. A pair of verterans in Ryan Suter and Zach Parise were bought out to help create slart cap room after also signing matching 13 year $98 million contract on July 4th, 2012. The prospect of paying two players over the age of 35 $15 million for the next 4 years was unappealing.
Part of the reason for that was upcoming contracts for some old guy who won the Calder last year in Kirill kaprizov now making $9 million for the next 5 years. Joel Eriksson Ek may not be a household name but the 24 year old finished 4th in selke voting last year and along with Mats Zuccarello create a dynamic offensive line for a franchise long known for relying on defence. Speaking of their defence a top 4 that includes Matt Dumba, Jarred Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin will provide a stiff challenge even with 2 regulas possibly out after missing Thursday's game vs Seattle.
In net the Wild will most likely go with Cam Talbot who has started all but 1 game this season after splitting starts with still rookie Kaapo Kahkonen last season. After bouncing around between 4 teams over 3 years Talbot seems to be settling in Minnesota posting near career best stats last year with a GAA of 2.63 and a save percentage of .915. Talbot hasn't played against Ottawa since March 2018, so fair to say our roster has changed a little since then.
Thursday November 4th 7:00 pm vs Vegas
Last 10: 3-4
Previous meetings this season: None
Series record since 2019-20: 2-0 Vegas
- Mark Stone IR (Lower Body)
- Max Pacioretty LTIR (Lower Body)
- Alex Tuch LTIR (Shoulder)
- Zach Whitecloud IR (Lower Body)
- Nolan Patrick Day to Day
- Matias Janmark Day to Day (Upper Body)
- William Carier Day to Day (Lower Body)
Well look at that yet another opponent struggling to score as Vegas as only scored more than 3 goals in a season opening 4-3 win over Seattle. Without Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch this season the Golden Knights are the only team yet to socre on the powerplay. On the positive, in terms of fans going to the game, Stone and Whitecloud are expected to be back in time for the game next Friday. Noted first line center Chandler Stephenson is the only Golden Knight abover 3 points this season with 7 points this season including a team high 3 goals.
I wouldn't expect much production from the top line in this game as they face one of the league's top pairings in Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore, who could both end up making the Canadian national team for the Olympics. Evegnii Dadonov has put up 3 points and his tied for second on the team in points, although we all remember his struggles on the powerplay which he has not contributed to in Vegas either. Well look at that another former Sen on this team this time in net with Robin Lehner. Lehner has started 6 of 7 games so far this year with a GAA of 2.97 and .913 save percentage and to rub some salt in the wound has an 8-0-3 record against the Sens in his career. One final note on this matchup, the Senators have only won 1 of 6 matchups between these teams since Vegas entered the league and noen of the last four.