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Game 38 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens

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Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

In order to maximize hype-levels heading into tonight’s game against the hated Habs, let’s just disregard the numbers from Thursday’s game because I really can’t find any promising statistics therein. Ottawa scored on the powerplay to ruin Jake Allen’s shutout bid in the waning minutes and that seemed like the only moral victory Ottawa took away. Montreal owned the blueline and got all of their goals and chances from Ottawa’s netfront and, in short, everyone needed to do a better job. As always, all stats below come courtesy of naturalstattrick.

Through the season series so far, Montreal has gotten the best of Ottawa in terms of shot volume so Ottawa should feel fortunate to have split the results thus far. Ottawa’s goals and expected goals on the powerplay surprisingly line up against Montreal so far this year while Ottawa’s results should actually improve on the penalty kill with average goaltending. To that effect, the Senators probably only have a slight edge on special teams with the Canadiens’ own powerplay struggles well-documented. For what it’s worth, it sounds like Carey Price should get the start for the Habs tonight.

Until we get some updates, here are Ottawa’s lines from Thursday:

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

Chabot - Zaitsev
Reilly - Zub
Coburn - Brown

Gustavsson
Forsberg

These were Montreal’s lines last game:

Drouin - Suzuki - Anderson
Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Byron - Kotkaniemi - Lehkonen
Perry - Evans - Frolik

Kulak - Petry
Edmundson - Weber
Romanov - Mete

Price
Allen

Game Notes:

  • Colin White left the last game about mid-way through and I don’t particularly look forward to seeing how DJ Smith fills those minutes if White doesn’t suit up for tonight’s game.
  • Filip Gustavsson deserves lots of credit after his performance on Thursday night, conceding only goals of the “high danger” variety and recording a respectable saver percentage of 91.4 at five-on-five.
  • We’ve talked at length about Thomas Chabot’s unsustainable minutes this season. And it only exacerbates the issue when DJ Smith implements his Braydon Coburn and Josh Brown pairing whom he trusts with fewer minutes than any other.
  • On a bittersweet note, Ottawa’s fourth line probably played the best minutes of any of the Senators’ forwards on Thursday. You love to see it because of how much speed and skill Alex Formenton, Clark Bishop, and Ryan Dzingel bring. You hate to see it because ideally your first three lines should outplay the fourth (duh).
  • Whether by design or not, Montreal did a superb job shutting down Ottawa’s skilled, young forwards not named Formenton and it goes without saying the DJ Smith will have to solve that issue if Ottawa wants to seriously compete tonight.
  • With fewer than ten days to go before the trade deadline, does Pierre Dorion continue to showcase the likes of Mike Reilly or do we see a healthy scratch to protect one of Ottawa’s only tradeable assets.
  • And finally, a quick logistical update in case you missed it:

Stats

Player Stats

Game 38 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Game 38 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Category Player # Player #
Goals Batherson/Tkachuk 11 Tyler Toffoli 18
Assists Thomas Chabot 17 Jonathan Drouin 19
Points Brady Tkachuk 22 Toffoli/Petry 27
Shots Brady Tkachuk 152 Brendan Gallagher 101
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 26:25 Shea Weber 22:54

Team Stats

Game 38 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Game 38 Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.48 25th 3.19 7th
Goals Against/GP 3.68 31st 2.53 10th
Shots/GP 30.9 6th 32.7 3rd
Shots Against/GP 31.9 29th 27.8 7th
Powerplay % 14.3 27th 22.0 14th
Penalty Kill % 77.0 21st 76.6 23rd
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 47.45 24th 56.93 2nd
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 46.19 24th 56.90 2nd

Where to watch/listen: CBC, TVA, TSN1200 @ 7:00PM EST