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Game 15 Preview and Open Thread: Calgary Flames @ Ottawa Senators

Will this team ever lose again?

NHL: NOV 13 Penguins at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

First and foremost, if you want to go into this gameday simply riding the high from last night’s victory over the insufferable Penguins then absolutely do that. As we’ll see, Calgary has a massive statistical advantage in just about every category over Ottawa and they don’t have a COVID outbreak in their lockerroom on top of countless other injuries, and they had yesterday off. By all accounts I would pencil this in as a scheduled loss for Ottawa.

That being said, Ottawa could absolutely Sens ‘em tonight based on pure spite and sicko-ness. For all their statistical dominance, the Flames have struggled to close out games and their record does not reflect their strong on-paper play. Calgary has lost five of its last six games even though they should probably rank top three in their division by all logic. They have an exceptional goaltender in Jakob Markstrom probably starting tonight and they’ve enjoyed a breakout season from players like Andrew Mangiapane, Dillon Dube, and bolstered their forward corps with Blake Coleman.

Only depth forward Brett Ritchie will sit out among Flames with injury tonight while some dozen or so Senators remain sidelined on the daily with injuries or COVID protocol. We assume Anton Forsberg starts for Ottawa tonight, and with Shane Pinto re-injuring his shoulder, Andrew Agozzino or Scott Sabourin could return to Ottawa’s lineup. The Senators have also called up Maxence Guenette so we could see yet another rookie defender in the lineup today depending on the health of Ottawa’s other blueliners.

Again, on paper, this doesn’t look like the Flames team that Ottawa played so well against last year in the bizarro world northern division. Calgary ranks top-ten in just about every meaningful statistical category you can think of while Ottawa ranks—not there. In theory, a rested Calgary team should dominate Ottawa at five-on-five and have the goaltending battle safely in their favour but as we saw last night, all of the rookie defenders in Ottawa have injected some much needed mobility and offensive flair to the Senators’ game and Ottawa suddenly seems capable of clearing the puck from the defensive zone so, restedness aside, maybe we can throw the numbers out the window.

Where to watch: TVA, TSN5, TSN1200 @5PM EST

Stats

Players

Game 1 Ottawa Senators Calgary Flames
Game 1 Ottawa Senators Calgary Flames
Category Player # Player #
Goals Drake Batherson 7 Andrew Mangiapane 9
Assists Drake Batherson 9 Johnny Gaudrea 11
Points Drake Batherson 16 Johnny Gaudrea 15
Shots Thomas Chabot 43 Matthew Tkachuk 50
TOI Thomas Chabot 27:27 Rasmus Andersson 22:50

Teams

Game 15 Ottawa Senators Calgary Flames
Game 15 Ottawa Senators Calgary Flames
Category Rank # Rank #
Goals 26th 2.57 10th 4.03
Goals against 30th 3.42 2nd 2.25
Shots 22nd 29.43 2nd 34.31
Shots against 31st 34.20 5th 29.48
Powerplay 17th 19.60% 10th 23.30%
Penalty Kill 28th 73.70% 10th 84.10%
Corsi 29th 44.87% 2nd 56.37%
xGoals 26th 47.38% 3rd 55.10%