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Game 13 Preview & Open Thread: Kings @ Senators

The Senators head back home as they look to stop their 5-game losing streak against Los Angeles

Ottawa Senators v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

March 11th, 2020: the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in what would be the last NHL game for almost five months. We didn't know what the COVID pandemic would mean for sports, and it is surreal to think about how different the world was when this last matchup between these two teams occurred. Yet COVID is very much still affecting things, as evidenced by the eight Senators listed on the COVID-list.

The fact that they’re even playing tonight’s game is a bit of a joke. Not only does it seem unsafe because there are surely more positive tests coming, but it’s also unfair to Ottawa who had to call up even more AHL talent. As of now though, the NHL is saying “game on” because money trumps everything.

In terms of the game that will be played, the Kings are a surprisingly solid team. Los Angeles has missed the playoffs three seasons in a row, but they’re off to a 7-5-1 start in a weak Pacific division, which puts them in 4th place. I wouldn’t quite call them a contender again, but they are a good opponent tonight, with some older star power and some good young players as well.

For Ottawa, they will be even more short-handed than Tuesday, which puts them in an uphill battle despite returning home. They are also in the midst of a five-game losing streak, which they hope to finally snap tonight. Here are their projected lines:

Game Notes:

  • Alex Formenton and Matt Murray are the most recent players to be out of action due to the COVID list. According to DJ Smith, all of the players on the list “appear to be doing okay” but some have more symptoms than others. It’s a bit concerning if some are experiencing symptoms because that does not bode well for them coming back soon.
  • In response to today’s news, Ottawa recalled Dillon Heatherington, Andrew Agozzino, and Lassi Thomson. As you can see, Thomson and Agozzino will be scratches, with Heatherington playing with Michael Del Zotto in his 12th career game.
  • The lines look incredibly thin, which is not surprising considering they looked thin even with a healthy roster. It’s a tough break for Ottawa who needs all the luck they can get. The two silver linings are that Egor Sokolov gets a chance to play on the 3rd line in his second career game, and Erik Brännström gets another game with Artem Zub.
  • Shane Pinto won’t be playing but he is close to returning according to Bruce Garrioch.
  • When players have to stay away from family to avoid furthering the outbreak, you really have to question what the league is doing here:
  • The Senators are 1-7-1 in their last nine games. Are we in Shane Wright Watch territory already? It sure would be nice to be somewhat in the playoff race, even if we know it’s not realistically going to happen. They need another top talent like Wright, but they aren’t guaranteed to get him even if they play poorly.
  • Anze Kopitar just never slows down. At the age of 34, has 15 points in 13 games so far. Shutting him down will be the number one priority.
  • Winger Alex Iafallo seems to keep getting better every season as he sits 2nd on the team in points with 13 in 13 games. Keep an eye out for # 19.
  • Ottawa is 14-19-2-4 all-time vs. Los Angeles.

Stats:

Team Stats

Game 13 Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
Game 13 Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.50 28th 2.85 19th
Goals Against/GP 2.58 28th 2.62 7th
Shots/GP 29.6 23rd 34.5 6th
Shots Against/GP 34.4 29th 30.3 11th
Powerplay % 17.1 23rd 17.7 20th
Penalty Kill % 71.9 28th 72.2 27th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 44.97 29th 51.28 14th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 47.29 22nd 48.42 21st

Player Stats

Game 13 Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
Game 13 Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 6 Anze Kopitar 7
Assists Drake Batherson 7 Anze Kopitar 8
Points Drake Batherson 12 Anze Kopitar 15
Shots Nick Paul, Thomas Chabot 35 Alex Iafallo 47
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 27:16 Drew Doughty 22:37