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Game 33 Preview + Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Matt Murray Revenge Game?

NHL: NOV 13 Penguins at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After an impressive pair of wins in Alberta last week, the Ottawa Senators went and lost 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Tuesday because....of course they did. On the bright side of things, the team played well and likely deserved a better fate. On the other hand, losing to the Sabres immediately after playing some of their best hockey of the season is a very Sens-thing to do.

Tonight’s match-up has Ottawa staring down the Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the top teams in the league. Taking down one of the top squads after falling one of the bottom-dwellers, especially in hilarious fashion, would also be a very Sens-thing to do so I’m pretty much guaranteeing a victory tonight.

Game Notes:

  • The Sens didn’t practice today, but Smith did indicate that Tyler Ennis would be replaced by Clark Bishop in the line-up.
  • For those hoping for a Matt Murray grudge match against his former team, he did travel with the team, and looks set to back up, but the illness that prevented him from starting on Tuesday seems to be lingering. Anton Forsberg will get the start between the pipes. Bit of a head-scratcher, but I don’t have any insider info to add any insight.
  • For most of the last 17 years, the Penguins have had a pretty straight forward formula to follow: build depth around Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang and let your stars carry you to the promised land. Taking a look at their forward depth, I regret to say that the Pens once again look like they might have the depth necessary to be real contenders. Keeping the Pens’ offense in check will be a total team effort for Ottawa.
  • All those nice things about Pittsburgh being said, I never thought I’d say the day where the Sens have an edge on the power play but it’s real! Look at the table! Ottawa would do well to stay out of the box nonetheless, but the scoring punch of their own PP has been a very pleasant good news story of late.
  • Puck drop is 7pm ET, you can watch on TSN5/RDS, or follow along on TSN1200 radio.

Stats:

All stats are courtesy of NHL.com and naturalstattrick.com:

Player Stats

Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 18 Sebastian Aho 19
Assists Drake Batherson 21 Sebastian Aho 26
Points Drake Batherson 34 Sebastian Aho 45
Shots Brady Tkachuk 133 Andrei Svechnikov 130
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 27:08:00 Jaccob Slavin 23:51:00

Team Stats

Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.76 21st 3.47 5th
Goals Against/GP 3.32 24th 2.37 1st
Shots/GP 30.3 19th 32.9 12th
Shots Against/GP 33.3 27th 28.3 2nd
Powerplay % 18.4 22nd 24.8 10th
Penalty Kill % 80.0 15th 88.7 1st
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 46.66 28th 55.25 3rd
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 46.82 24th 53.99 5th