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Game 15 Preview: New York Islanders @ Ottawa Senators

It’s an early one

NHL: Ottawa Senators at New York Islanders Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

As you may have heard, Daniel Alfredsson is going into the Hall of Fame this evening, and the Ottawa Senators plan on broadcasting the induction ceremony live at the Canadian Tire Centre after the conclusion of this evening’s match-up. So te first thing that we need to talk about is that today’s game gets underway at 5:30 Eastern. Yes, you read that right: 5:30. Now you’ve all been warned, no excuses for missing the first period!

On the actual game: the New York Islanders, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, roll into town with a somewhat unexpected 10-6-0 record. Yes, most of the core of the team that made two straight Conference Finals is still there, but virtually this same squad missed the play-offs last year and everyone is yet another year older. Are the Isles for real or are they getting a bit lucky?

For the Ottawa Senators, there are a lot of injuries to key players that have the squad at far less than 100%. Nonetheless, every team faces bad injury luck at some point and making do with less than full line-ups is necessary to truly contend for the play-offs.

Here’s how Ottawa is expected to line them up tonight:

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

Sanderson - Hamonic
Brännström - JBD
Larsson - Holden


Game Notes:

  • It’s been a storyline for seemingly the entire season, but Alex DeBrincat finally “broke out” on Saturday against the Flyers with two goals and is now up to 13 points in 14 games. With Thomas Chabot joining Josh Norris and Artem Zub on the sidelines, the Sens will need offensive contributions from wherever they can get it.
  • The Sens’ group on the blue line was already what one might call a bit thin to start the year, but with the aforementioned injuries to Chabot and Zub things are hanging on by a thread. Look for DJ Smith to lean heavily on Jake Sanderson; I wouldn’t be surprised if the rookie cracked 25 minutes tonight.
  • I wouldn’t say that the Isles are a one line team per se, but the Brock Nelson-Anders Lee- Mathew Barzal trio have been by far the most effective group. There’s kind of two Islanders teams: one excellent team when those three are on, and one very beatable one when any other line is on. Needless to say the key to coming out on top will be shutting down that group. I’d expect to see Shane Pinto’s line get the first crack at the job.
  • Erik Karlsson penned a heart-warming piece about Alfie for the Player’s Tribune this afternoon. Warning: do not read unless you are ready to feel ~feelings~



Game 16 Ottawa Senators Buffalo Sabres
Game 16 Ottawa Senators Buffalo Sabres
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 3.4 10th 3.69 T-4th
Goals Against/GP 3.53 24th 3.56 T-25th
Shots/GP 32.5 10th 31.9 14th
Shots Against/GP 34.2 25th 31.4 15th
Powerplay % 23.2 10th 23.7 8th
Penalty Kill % 76.8 20th 71.4 29th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 51.18 15th 52.17 11th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 50.97 13th 49.26 18th


Game 16 Ottawa Senators Buffalo Sabres
Game 16 Ottawa Senators Buffalo Sabres
Category Player # Player #
Goals Shane Pinto/Claude Giroux 8 Tage Thompson 11
Assists Brady Tkachuk 14 Rasmus Dahlin 11
Points Brady Tkachuk 20 Tage Thompson 21
Shots Alex DeBrincat/Brady Tkachuk 59 Tage Thompson 69
Time on Ice/GP Tim Stutzle (of healthy players) 20:26 Rasmus Dahlin 26:24