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Game 35 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals

Can they turn Tuesday’s win into another winning streak?

NHL: DEC 22 Capitals at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Losing three straight games after an 8-2-1 stretch wasn’t ideal by any means, but the Ottawa Senators made up for it in spades on Tuesday.

Taking down the Boston Bruins is an accomplishment that not many teams have done this season. The Senators have done it twice and beat the Washington Capitals after that first victory over Boston, so here’s hoping history repeats itself tonight!

That said, the Capitals have recently gone from a team within striking distance of Ottawa, to, well, not that. They’re 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, and have the newly-appointed second-greatest goalscorer in NHL history, trailing only the Great One, Alexander Ovechkin.

Here are the projected lines, taken from yesterday’s practice, with Cam Talbot likely to start in goal:

Game Notes:

  • Josh Norris (shoulder) and Artem Zub (face) are taking part in the Sens’ road trip. While Norris is still projected to be out a while longer, head coach D.J. Smith has stated that Zub has a chance to play on Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings, his first game since signing a four-year contract extension worth $4.6M annually.
  • Nikita Zaitsev, projected to be out for some time after blocking a shot on Tuesday, will be replaced by Jacob Bernard-Docker, who has missed a month with a high-ankle sprain. He’s had some mixed results in the 6 NHL games he’s played this season, tallying one assist.
  • Although Ottawa’s finishing is still weak at 5-on-5, the team’s top forwards are doing a better job of converting on their chances. Nobody has truly stood out, but having six different players on pace for a 20-goal season is better than what we’ve had in the past.
  • Another source of secondary goalscoring that has emerged from out of nowhere is Thomas Chabot. Well, not necessarily nowhere considering he had 14 back in 2018-19, but after three consecutive seasons shooting under 5%, he has 7 goals this season on a 9.6 shooting percentage, on pace for a career-high.
  • It’s a 7:00 PM EST start tonight, available to watch on TSN5 or TSN 1200.

Stats:

Team Stats

Game 36 Ottawa Senators Detroit Red Wings
Game 36 Ottawa Senators Detroit Red Wings
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 3.03 23rd 3.09 18th
Goals Against/GP 3.17 17th 3.32 19th
Shots/GP 33.5 6th 29.7 24th
Shots Against/GP 32.7 23rd 31.9 19th
Powerplay % 28.0 3rd 21.1 19th
Penalty Kill % 80.7 11th 76.7 20th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 51.11 15th 44.92 28th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 51.13 16th 48.00 25th

Player Stats

Game 31 Ottawa Senators #Lumbus Blue Jackets
Game 31 Ottawa Senators #Lumbus Blue Jackets
Category Player # Player #
Goals Claude Giroux 15 Boone Jenner 11
Assists Brady Tkachuk 25 Johnny Gaudreau 27
Points Brady Tkachuk 38 Johnny Gaudreau 37
Shots Brady Tkachuk 160 Johnny Gaudreau 97
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 26:08 Zach Werenski (inj.) 23:36