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Game 57 Preview and Open Thread: Seattle Kraken @ Ottawa Senators

I miss Joey Daccord so much.

Florida Panthers v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

Following one of their best defensive efforts of the season against the St. Louis Blues, the Ottawa Senators return home looking for more of the same. Tonight’s opponent is a rare one — a team who the Senators are actually favoured to win against, the Seattle Kraken.

Seattle’s first season has been that of a typical expansion team, in other words, really bad. Despite being the second-best team in the league at suppressing shots, they’ve largely struggled in every other area. In particular, Philipp Grubauer, a Vezina nominee last season, has an abysmal .887 save percentage through 43 games. It’s definitely an unexpected result for the Kraken, who signed Grubauer in the offseason to a six-year deal worth $5.9M annually.

Meanwhile, Ottawa is still feeling the effects of Drake Batherson’s high-ankle sprain, though a few players have recently picked up the slack in his absence. 2020 3rd overall pick Tim Stutzle has 6 points in his last 3 games, and their leading goal-scorer, Josh Norris, had his best game in a while against the Blues with his 20th goal in 40 games, along with 2 assists.

Anton Forsberg is expected to start in goal tonight, and the Sens will go with a similar* lineup to their morning skate.

*Batherson won’t play, and Connor Brown is a game-time decision. It’ll be Brown or Tyler Ennis skating alongside Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris tonight.

Game Notes:

  • The identity of Ottawa’s starting goalie has been constantly changing throughout the season, but for now, it’s Anton Forsberg, who has posted a save percentage of at least .930 in 8 of his last 9 games.
  • Despite being on pace for a 20-goal season, Alex Formenton has really cooled down as of late, with 4 goals and 1 assist in his last 19 games. Unless the team can get more out of him, it’s going to be difficult to consistently generate the offense necessary to win games, given the already-existent hole in their top-six from Batherson’s injury.
  • Seattle has not relied on any one of their defencemen too much this year, given the lack of star power. Adam Larsson is their leader in time on ice per game, at 21:55. That’s a stark contrast to the Senators, who rely on Thomas Chabot for over 26 minutes a night.
  • Tonight’s game will start at 7:00 pm EST, and you can catch the action on TSN5, RDS, and TSN 1200.

Stats:

Team Stats

Game 57 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Game 57 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.61 25th 2.56 28th
Goals Against/GP 3.20 21st 3.59 29th
Shots/GP 30.1 19th 28.4 31st
Shots Against/GP 33.8 27th 28.8 2nd
Powerplay % 17.9 25th 14.9 29th
Penalty Kill % 80.2 15th 74.0 29th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 46.77 22nd 48.66 20th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 46.23 25th 47.03 23rd

Player Stats

Game 57 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Game 57 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 18 Jared McCann 21
Assists Thomas Chabot 26 Yanni Gourde 21
Points Brady Tkachuk 40 Jared McCann 33
Shots Brady Tkachuk 189 Jared McCann 138
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 26:37 Adam Larsson 21:55