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Game 66 Preview + Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Nashville Predators

Sens begin a brief road trip in Tennessee

NHL: FEB 25 Senators at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the wake of the sudden, unexpected death of team owner Eugene Melnyk, the Ottawa Senators are back in action tonight against the Nashville Predators. There will undoubtedly be many questions about the future of the franchise that must be answered in the days and weeks ahead but very little of that can be addressed today. One of the biggest challenges facing the players will be to remain focused on the games at hand amidst what is a bit of a surreal feeling. Melnyk’s role atop the organization had been the one constant on the team for the last nineteen years.

Meanwhile, Nashville is enjoying something of a renaissance this season thanks in large part to Roman Josi. The 31 year-old leads all defensemen in scoring with 81 points — a full eight clear of second-place Cale Makar. Josi’s long been one of the league’s premier offensive defensemen, and he could very well be in line for his second Norris Trophy at the end of the season.

The other pillar for the Preds has been Jusse Saros, now in his second season as the full-time starter following the retirement of Nashville stalwart Pekka Rinne. Saros is possibly the smallest goalie in the NHL, but thanks to his sharp positioning and exceptional athleticism he is one the best.

There will be no changes to the Sens’ line-up from the Saturday night game against the Florida Panthers, which means we’re looking at the following alignment:

Tkachuk - Norris - Batherson
Formenton - Stützle - Brown
Joseph - Tierney - White
Ennis - Gambrell - Watson

Brännström - Zub
Holden - Zaitsev
Del Zotto - Hamonic

Forsberg once again gets the start in net.

Game Notes:

  • Brady Tkachuk shared a thoughtful message on Twitter last night after Melnyk’s passing was announced:
  • An emotional Pierre Dorion spoke about Melnyk at the today’s GM Meetings.
  • Former Senator Matt Duchene is having a strong year scoring-wise in Nashville, with 67 points in 62 games; a major rebound season after struggling mightily in 2020-21.
  • Puck drop is 8pm ET, you can watch on TSN5 or RDS2, and listen on TSN1200 radio.

Head-to-Head:

Player Stats

Game 75 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Game 75 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 33 Jared McCann 25
Assists Tim Stützle 32 Yanni Gourde 26
Points Brady Tkachuk 59 Jared McCann, Yanni Gourde (tied) 43
Shots Brady Tkachuk 261 Jared McCann 174
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot (inj.) 26:23 Adam Larsson 22:10

Team Stats

Game 75 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Game 75 Ottawa Senators Seattle Kraken
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.71 26th 2.57 29th
Goals Against/GP 3.23 23rd 3.47 24th
Shots/GP 30.3 20th 28.8 31st
Shots Against/GP 33.2 25th 29.1 5th
Powerplay % 19.7 21st 14.3 29th
Penalty Kill % 80.5 13th 75.1 26th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 47.91 21st 49.03 19th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 47.10 24th 47.34 23rd