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Game 28 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Edmonton Oilers

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Can the Senators put together another string of victories?

Edmonton Oilers v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

With a 7-5 record in their last twelve games, the Ottawa Senators haven’t given us too much to complain about recently. You could argue they took their foot off the gas in the third period during yesterday’s win, allowing the Calgary Flames to force a shootout, but to me, it looked like a round of Mario Kart out there, with the Senators being pelted by a barrage of blue shells, i.e. questionable penalty calls. And they still won somehow.

You can say they were outplayed at even-strength, but if you can’t score more than one goal on eight power-play opportunities against a bottom-five team, you don’t deserve two points.

Besides, the Senators have outplayed opponents on numerous occasions this year, finding new ways to lose in the process. Case in point, tonight’s opponent, the Edmonton Oilers. Four games thus far, all losses, all pre-Sickos era. Though I think you’ll find that the Senators deserved a few points in that series. I mean, they held Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl pointless in the fourth meeting, only to be brought down by goals you’d expect to see in the 80s.

Their luck is bound to turn around eventually, but on a second-half of a back-to-back, a win tonight won’t be possible unless the Senators can consistently break out of their zone without issue.

Joey Daccord will start tonight, with Mikko Koskinen confirmed for the Oilers. Matthew Peca will replace Artem Anisimov tonight. Aside from that, nothing changes from how they lined up yesterday:

As for the Oilers, expect them to roll out these combinations from their practice yesterday:

Stats (from NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.com):

Team Stats

Game 40 Ottawa Senators Edmonton Oilers
Game 40 Ottawa Senators Edmonton Oilers
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.62 24th 3.26 7th
Goals Against/GP 3.72 31st 2.87 16th
Shots/GP 31.1 7th 30.1 12th
Shots Against/GP 32.8 29th 30.9 18th
Powerplay % 15.2 26th 26.4 2nd
Penalty Kill % 76.9 22nd 78.4 18th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 47.11 24th 48.91 17th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 45.88 27th 50.10 14th

Player Stats

Game 40 Ottawa Senators Edmonton Oiler
Game 40 Ottawa Senators Edmonton Oiler
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson 12 Connor McDavid 22
Assists Thomas Chabot 19 Connor McDavid 42
Points Tkachuk, Batherson, Chabot 23 Connor McDavid 64
Shots Brady Tkachuk 155 Connor McDavid 142
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 26:25 Darnell Nurse 25:43

Game Notes:

  • Anisimov is day-to-day with a minor injury; Peca has been recalled from the taxi squad, he’ll likely draw in. Evgenii Dadonov remains in the lineup.
  • Erik Brännström played just 5:19 yesterday, an indicator that D.J. Smith doesn’t trust him to kill penalties. I don’t think he’s been bad defensively this year, so I’d give him a shot in that role sooner than later. The low ice-time against Calgary means he’s relatively fresh compared to others in the lineup, and if the Senators decide to play him tonight, that could lower the disadvantage of being on a back-to-back.
  • After a slow start to the season production-wise, Colin White now has 6 points in his last 7 games. All the while, he’s been strong at both ends of the ice, while posting a 52.92 expected goals % at 5v5.
  • Ryan Dzingel has two goals in two games with the Sens, so you know what that means. Two more second-round picks, baby!
  • You can catch tonight’s game at 9:00 PM EST, on TSN5, RDS2, or Sportsnet West.