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Game 28 Preview & Open Thread: Ducks @ Senators

Ottawa is 5-2-1 over their last 8 games, can they continue their solid play against Anaheim?

Ottawa Senators v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

The past few weeks have been quite the roller coaster for the Ottawa Senators. They were able to put a halt to that disastrous seven-game losing streak a while ago, and ever since then, they’ve had small stretches where they look like they’re back to being a good team again but then they have a hiccup for a game or two and fall back. They haven’t been able to carry any sort of momentum, as the only winning streak longer than two games came during their first four wins of the season when it looked like they were a completely different team.

Despite some frustrating games, they’re actually 5-2-1 over their last 8 games, and they have a good chance to improve on that record against the lowly Anaheim Ducks tonight. The Senators once again deserved to win on Saturday against the Nashville Predators, and for once they actually got the job done in the third period. A win at home tonight shouldn’t be difficult, although this has been a strange season for the Senators. Let’s hope this can be the start of some positive momentum.

Here are the projected lines for tonight, with Alex DeBrincat and Cam Talbot being question marks:

Game Notes:

  • Tonight is Wade Redden Ring of Honour induction night, which is well overdue. Redden played 838 games for the Senators and had 410 points as a defenseman. It’s great to see a player finally added to the Ring of Honour alongside Bryan Murray.
  • The Anaheim Ducks are...not exactly a good team, to put it lightly. As you’ll see in the team stats at the bottom, they are essentially amongst the worst two or three teams in every category. The only category they are a little bit outside of the basement is shots for, but even then they’re just 24th overall. Ottawa easily beat them 5-1 a few weeks ago in Anaheim, and anything but two points tonight would be a massive letdown.
  • Alex DeBrincat finally got a lucky goal on Saturday, which was his seventh of the season. He’s on pace for 67 points, which isn’t amazing, but it’s not bad considering the incredibly poor luck he’s had. He has 55 games left to play, and I think he can easily hit the 30-goal mark. He’d have to score 23 goals in that span, which is only a 34-goal pace over a full season. He might not even end up playing tonight (for reasons unknown), but I’m expecting a massive goal spree at some point from him.
  • Ottawa’s bottom-six is looking extremely thin right now after some injuries. Rourke Chartier got called up this morning and will be on the third line for just his 14th career game. He’s been one of Belleville’s best players as he has 14 goals and 19 points in 24 games.
  • The first line with Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle, and Claude Giroux continues to be absolutely dominant. It’s time for the other lines to wake up as well.
  • DJ Smith said that he’s not sure when Artem Zub will be back and that Josh Norris will get re-evaluated after Christmas.
  • Considering Ottawa’s luck, it’s amazing that Travis Hamonic isn’t missing tonight’s game after getting chopped in the face by Thomas Chabot on Saturday:
  • The game beings at 7:30 EST on TSN5.

Player Stats

Game 31 Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
Game 31 Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk/Claude Giroux 13 Kirill Kaprizov 18
Assists Brady Tkachuk 22 Kirill Kaprizov/Mats Zuccarello 21
Points Brady Tkachuk 35 Kirill Kaprizov 39
Shots Brady Tkachuk 131 Kirill Kaprizov 124
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 25:52 Jonas Brodin 22:!1

Team Stats

Game 31 Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
Game 31 Ottawa Senators Minnesota Wild
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 3.17 16th 3.1 18th
Goals Against/GP 3.13 17th 2.87 T-13th
Shots/GP 33.6 6th 31.2 18th
Shots Against/GP 32.8 25th 29.4 8th
Powerplay % 28.8 4th 25.5 10th
Penalty Kill % 79.7 12th 79.6 13th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 52.3 6th 50.70 15th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 52.21 11th 51.93 12th