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Game 8 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Florida Panthers

Let the rivalry begin (again)

NHL: APR 28 Panthers at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game Notes:

  • Looking at the stats tables below, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news: Ottawa has gotten much closer to Florida in overall team quality since last year. The bad news: the Panthers have underperformed their expected outcomes significantly so far and will break out offensively against an unsuspecting opponent very soon.
  • While Ottawa’s special teams conversions outrank Florida’s, the Cats give up less on the penalty kill (7.08 xGA/60 to Ottawa’s 7.30) and generate more on the powerplay (9.17 xGF/60 to Ottawa’s 7.62). Again, much closer than last year, but Florida has the better expected rates to Ottawa’s better conversions to date.
  • The same applies at five-on-five where the Cats give up less on defence (2.10 xGA/60 to Ottawa’s 2.36) and generate almost as much as the Sens (2.88 xGF/60 to Ottawa’s 3.00).
  • Folks know the Panthers have a very good team now and the Sens won’t take their opponent lightly but they should probably also prepare for a considerable uptick in Florida’s shooting percentage one of these days.
  • It bodes well then, that Ottawa has gotten slightly better goaltending to date than Florida.
  • Obviously all eyes will be on Brady and Matthew Tkachuk as their rivalry ignites anew, now as division foe. Both brothers lead their respective teams in goals but Ottawa has a more diverse distribution of statistical leaders in other categories (it feels so foreign seeing a player other than Brady lead the Sens in shots (and it also feels off seeing a defender other than Aaron Ekblad leading the Panthers in ATOI)) while Matthew leads his team in most offensive categories.
  • Speaking of Ekblad, he remains on the injured reserve for Florida (along with Anthony Duclair) while Artem Zub joins Josh Norris in the Senators’ infirmary.
  • And finally, if you know anything about me then you know that I’ll have my eyes on Colin White (and to a much lesser extent Rudolfs Balcers) throughout this game. Chris Tierney and Michael Del Zotto have spent the season to date with Florida’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte.

Where to watch/listen: TVAS2, TSN5, TSN1200 @4PM EST

Lines from last game:


Tkachuk - Stützle - Batherson
DeBrincat - Brassard - Giroux
Motte - Pinto - Joseph
Kelly - Kastelic - Watson

Chabot - Zub*
Brännström - Zaitsev
Sanderson - Hamonic


Tkachuk - Barkov - Verhaeghe
Balcers - Bennett - Reinhart
Luostarinen - Lundell - White
Lomberg - Staal - Hornqvist

Forsling - Montour
Mahura - Gudas
Staal - Kiersted



Game 8 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Game 8 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Category Player # Player #
Goals Tkachuk/Pinto 5 Matthew Tkachuk 4
Assists Drake Batherson 7 Matthew Tkachuk 6
Points Tkachuk/Batherson 10 Matthew Tkachuk 10
Shots Alex DeBrincat 35 Matthew Tkachuk 39
TOI Thomas Chabot 25:30 Brandon Montour 25:18


Game 8 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Game 8 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Category Rank # Rank #
Goals 4th 3.86 21st 2.99
Goals against 21st 3.14 19th 3.11
Shots 11th 33.14 4th 36.71
Shots against 15th 31.29 6th 28.50
Powerplay 12th 24.0% 30th 8.1%
Penalty Kill 23rd 76.0% 25th 75.8%
Corsi (5V5SVA) 8th 53.3% 3rd 59.4%
xGoals (5V5SVA) 8th 56.0% 5th 57.8%