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Game 54 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Winnipeg Jets

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NHL: MAY 03 Jets at Senators Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well folks, the end now really draws near with just two more Senators games after today and with only the season finale against Toronto at home in Ottawa. As far as Ottawa’s opponent today goes, they’ll probably operate on autopilot down the stretch as they’ve all but guaranteed that they’ll start the postseason on the road versus the Edmonton Oilers. And even if the Jets don’t quite rest their starters for the last couple of games, they’ll take every precaution and for Ottawa that means not having to deal with Nik Ehlers and also seeing a slightly thinner Winnipeg blueline.

Ottawa hasn’t played quite as poorly against the Jets as they have against, say, the Oilers but they still have a losing record of 3-5-1 while getting outscored 21-30 (that averages to one goal per game). Even with Connor Hellebuyck in the crease for Winnipeg, Ottawa has a fighting chance here with the Jet’s aforementioned roster management. Look for old friend Dylan DeMelo on the Jets’ first pairing and rejoice knowing that Logan Stanley will stay in the pressbox where he can’t injure any more Senators.

Ottawa ran these lines at practice on Friday (note the abcence of Alex Formenton who missed part of the last game but ultimately returned to close it out):

Tkachuk - Norris - Batherson
Paul - White - Dadonov
Stützle - Pinto - Brown
Dzingel- Tierney - Abramov

Mete - Zaitsev
Brännström - Zub
Alsing - Bernard-Docker

Gustavsson
Forsberg

Winnipeg skated with these lines this morning:

Connor - Scheifele- Wheeler
Stastny - Dubois - Perreault
Copp - Lowry - Appleton
Harkins - Thompson - Lewis

Morrissey - DeMelo
Forbort - Poolman
Heinola - Benn

Hellebuyck
Brossoit

Notes

  • Even without Ehlers, the Jets have a bunch of offensive weapons and a lethal powerplay so just like we said in the games Ottawa played against the Edmonton Oilers: stay out of the box! Ottawa’s penalty kill has played better of late but they won’t win this finale against the Jets without playing disciplined hockey.
  • I talked about Victor Mete in the last recap but I feel it bears repeating that this guy went from scratch in Montreal to a now in-a-pinch top-pairing defender and he has looked good in the process.
  • True to their team identities, the Jets have out-volumed Ottawa (54.88 score- and venue-adjusted five-on-five corsi-for percentage) as well as any of Ottawa’s opponents while the Sens have kept it close in terms of expected goals in the same situations (51.42 head-to-head for Winnipeg).
  • Ottawa’s powerplay has for the record done well enough against the Jets’ penalty kill with 99.01 CF/60 and 6.75 xGF/60 (Ottawa only had higher powerplay rates against Montreal).
  • As always, these stats come courtesy of naturalstattrick
  • Catch the game on SN, City, and TSN1200 at 7:00PM EST (even though it’s in Winnipeg)

Stats

Players

Game 54 Ottawa Senators Winnipeg Jets
Game 54 Ottawa Senators Winnipeg Jets
Category Player # Player #
Goals Connor Brown 19 Kyle Connor 22
Assists Thomas Chabot 25 Mark Scheifele 37
Points Brady Tkachuk 35 Mark Scheifele 56
Shots Brady Tkachuk 207 Kyle Connor 153
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 26:17 Josh Morrissey 23:29

Teams

Game 54 Ottawa Senators Winnipeg Jets
Game 54 Ottawa Senators Winnipeg Jets
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.73 18th 3.02 12th
Goals Against/GP 3.33 28th 2.73 11th
Shots/GP 29.7 11th 29.3 17th
Shots Against/GP 31.8 27th 30.5 20th
Powerplay % 15.8 26th 24.2 4th
Penalty Kill % 79.1 18th 80.3 14th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 47.7 23rd 48.3 18th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 47.3 22nd 46.2 24th