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Game 30 Preview + Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Calgary Flames

And....we’re back!

NHL: NOV 14 Flames at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Before the last time the Ottawa Senators played a game, I wrote a preview noting how strange it was to have a two week break in the middle of the season. Well it’s been almost two weeks since that game. In some ways, very little has changed for the Sens in the intervening time except that more players have been in COVID-19 protocols. The main upshot of all this re-scheduling is that Ottawa will have to cram in a huge number of games down the stretch. But that’s a story for another day. Tonight, the Sens will enter their match-up with Calgary about as well-rested as they could be, with a long stretch of practices to presumably sharpen their play. Will that be enough to offset the potential for rust and missing one of their top offensive players?

Here’s how DJ is expected to line them up for tonight’s affair:

Tkachuk - Norris - Batherson
Formenton - Paul - Brown
Sanford - Gambrell - Watson
Ennis - Tierney - Sabourin

Chabot - Bernard-Docker
Holden - Zub
Brännström - J. Brown

Murray (starter)
Forsberg

Game Notes:

  • Nick Paul takes over second line centre duties with Tim Stützle in COVID protocols. In his availability today, Smith made it seem like the young German could be available for Saturday’s game against the Oilers.
  • The Flames have fallen back to earth after a red-hot start to the season, going only 3-6-1 in their last 10. Nonetheless, they still sit second in the Pacific by PTS% and should prove a stiff challenge for the Sens’ first game back.
  • Though he hasn’t been the recipient of the same fanfare as some other stars on other Canadian teams, Johnny Gaudreau is having himself a strong season so far.
  • Josh Brown returns to the line-up and will be featured on the third pair with Erik Brännström. Smith emphasized that Brown will need to be physical and to help clear the net in order to be effective.
  • With Nikita Zaitsev still out, Jacob Bernard-Docker will start on the top pairing with Thomas Chabot. I wouldn’t be shocked if Chabot spends a lot of the game rotating through a variety of partners, but I’d expect JBD will see a fair amount of ice-time nonetheless
  • Game starts at 9pm ET, you can watch on TSN5, RDS or SNW, or follow along on TSN1200 radio.

Game Stats:

As ever, all stats are courtesy of NHL.com and naturalstattrick.com:

Team Stats

Game 33 Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins
Game 33 Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.78 21st 3.26 11th
Goals Against/GP 3.59 28th 2.53 4th
Shots/GP 29.1 24th 34.7 6th
Shots Against/GP 33.8 27th 29.9 8th
Powerplay % 20.0 15th 18.1 21st
Penalty Kill % 78.4 20th 89.5 2nd
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 44.73 31st 54.11 6th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 46.31 25th 55.50 4th

Player Stats

Game 35 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Game 35 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 18 Boone Jenner 16
Assists Drake Batherson 21 Jakub Voracek 25
Points Drake Batherson 33 Jenner, Bjorkstrand 27
Shots Brady Tkachuk 100 Zach Werenski 115
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 27:07:00 Zach Werenski 26:28:00