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Game 9 Preview and Open Thread: Senators @ Wild

Ottawa looks to shake off a disappointing 5-1 loss to Chicago as they head to Minneapolis to play the Wild

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Minnesota Wild Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Oh boy. Last night was not very pretty.

The Ottawa Senators actually got off to a good start against the Chicago Blackhawks, but a late Brandon Hagel goal in the 1st period changed the trajectory of the game. Ottawa looked incredibly uninspired after that point, which led to a predictably bad 5-1 loss. Luckily they have a quick turnaround and have the opportunity to immediately forget about it.

They travelled from Chicago to Minneapolis where they will face off against the 5-3-0 Minnesota Wild. It’s odd to say the ninth game of the season is a “must-win”, but dropping to a 3-6-0 record while they’re already second-last in the conference would be a bit concerning. As of now, there have been no lines posted, but we will update that as soon as possible.

Game Notes:

  • Filip Gustavsson will get the start tonight. Matt Murray came back from injury last night and let in some questionable goals. He wasn’t the sole reason for the loss, but he needs to be better. If Gustavsson plays well again, I wonder how DJ Smith will treat this trio of goaltenders.
  • Michael Del Zotto gets into the lineup for just the third time in nine games. I’m still baffled that he received two years on his contract because it seems like Smith doesn’t trust him very much. Getting fresh legs into the lineup can be important though, so I understand the move.
  • Austin Watson makes his season debut, which can hopefully/potentially give them a bit of life. Watson was a fan-favourite last season and was an effective 4th-line player.
  • If the Senators want to improve this season, they need to be better on the road:

The Wild are no slouch and have an extra two days of rest, so tonight will be a difficult task.

  • Tim Stützle is still looking for his first goal on the season. It’s gotten to a frustrating point, but I’m not losing faith, and neither should you. Don’t forget, Drake Batherson began last season with 1 goal in his first 16 games and still ended with 17 in 56 games.
  • Star winger Kirill Kaprizov is also goal-less on the season (albeit with 6 assists), which makes me worried that we might see him go off on the Senators.
  • The Wild lead the league by a good margin in xGF% at 57.05%. Their actual GF% is only 50%, so they might be due for some better luck.
  • The game starts at 8:00 EST and can be seen on TSN5 and RDS2.

Stats

Player Stats

Game 10 Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Game 10 Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 6 Alex Killorn 7
Assists Drake Batherson 5 Victor Hedman 9
Points Drake Batherson 11 Steven Stamkos 12
Shots Nick Paul, Thomas Chabot 31 Steven Stamkos 30
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 27:02 Victor Hedman 25:24

Team Stats

Game 11 Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Game 11 Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.50 25th 3.00 11th
Goals Against/GP 3.5 28th 3.10 23rd
Shots/GP 30.1 20th 30.9 17th
Shots Against/GP 34.4 30th 29.9 11th
Powerplay % 22.6 12th 16.1 23rd
Penalty Kill % 74.1 24th 82.4 14th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 45.55 29th 52.19 10th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 47.38 22nd 52.58 9th