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Game 36 Preview and Open Thread: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators

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The Senators are 3-0-2 in their last 5 games and have won 3 out of their 6 matchups against the Maple Leafs. Can they keep it up?

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

After Filip Gustavsson was fantastic in back-to-back games for his first two career starts, the Ottawa Senators will have a tough act to follow as they face off against the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Gustavsson’s performances where he allowed just two goals total has been the talk of the town, although another win against the Maple Leafs would supplant that.

The Senators are now 3-0-2 in their last five games and have been playing quite well over the past month and a half, as they are actually 10-8-2 over their past 20 games as well. They have saved some of their best games for matchups against Toronto, and the fanbase has certainly appreciated that.

Tonight will mark the 7th game between the two rivals, with two more games coming later in the season. The last game between these two was obviously a fun one as the Senators won 4-3 on Sunday March 14th in a game that was a bit closer than we would have liked. I’m hoping tonight can be similar to what we had that night, as Ottawa was clearly ready for their opponent.

Since the Senators did not skate today, the lineups have not been posted yet. We assume the lines will be very close to yesterday with just two changes:

Tkachuk - Tierney - C. Brown
Stützle - Norris - Batherson
Paul - White - Dadonov
Dzingel - Bishop - Formenton

Chabot - Zaitsev
Reilly - Zub
Coburn - J. Brown

Forsberg
Gustavsson

Game Notes:

  • In a surprising move, Christian Wolanin was placed on waivers today:

I assume there were no takers for him on the trade market, which is disappointing. There will be more to discuss about this on Silver Seven, but I’m certainly sad to see that he isn’t in the team’s plans moving forward, especially given who is playing ahead of him. The timing of it seems a bit odd.

  • In place of Wolanin, Braydon Coburn will draw back into the lineup, which should make for an interesting 3rd pairing with Josh Brown. And by interesting, I mean...something else.
  • Alex Formenton should get into his second game this season, which will be fun to see. He had a few solid shifts last night in his 10:00 of ice-time, and I hope to see more entertaining plays from him. He played 1:42 on the penalty kill, so expect DJ to keep throwing him out there.
  • Anton Forsberg will most likely make his debut for the Senators, which is their fifth goalie this season. Their record for most goalies in a season is 6 (2010-11 and 2018-19), so Kevin Mandolese could potentially get them there (but hopefully not).
  • Forsberg has a career .901 SV% in 48 games, bouncing from Columbus to Chicago, to Carolina, to Winnipeg, and finally to Ottawa.
  • The Maple Leafs won their last game on Saturday, although they are 2-6-0 in their last 8 games and are tied for first in the division with Winnipeg and Edmonton (while having one and two games in hand on them, respectively). It sure would be nice to spoil first place for them.
  • This is the 7th matchup between the Leafs and the Senators this season, with each team winning three times so far. Ottawa vs. Toronto: Game 7...oh no.

Team Stats

Game 36 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs
Game 36 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.57 24th 3.34 5th
Goals Against/GP 3.82 31st 2.59 9th
Shots/GP 31.6 T-4th 30.6 T-9th
Shots Against/GP 31.9 28th 28.4 8th
Powerplay % 14.0 T-27th 27.7 4th
Penalty Kill % 75.7 23rd 76.1 21st
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 49.82 13th 50.09 12th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 48.54 20th 52.64 9th

Player Stats

Game 36 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs
Game 36 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk 11 Auston Matthews 21
Assists Thomas Chabot 17 Mitch Marner 28
Points Brady Tkachuk 22 Mitch Marner 40
Shots Brady Tkachuk 144 Auston Matthews 118
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 26:23 Morgan Rielly 23:58

Puck drop is at 7:00 eastern tonight, you can watch the action on TSN and RDS.