At one end, there’s a team who’s trying to play the right way and figure out its needs heading into one of the most crucial offseasons in team history. At the other end, a team once thought to be out of the playoff race has suddenly re-entered the picture, having gone 7-2-1 in their last ten and creeping up on a potential Wild Card spot in the West.
While the Sens played last night, they won’t be able to use that as an excuse as the Canucks were also in action while they sent a message to the Dallas Stars that they’re not to be underestimated in a commanding 6-2 victory.
With no morning skate today, the lines we’ll be seeing tonight haven’t been solidified and, given the overall effort level, it’s possible we see some shake ups. One thing we know for certain is that while DJ Smith is likely to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, he’s made it clear that Josh Norris and Brady Tkachuk will remain together, while Tim Stützle and Drake Batherson will do the same - a predictable sign that Smith intends to create a top six for next year with those pairs as his building blocks.
Two players to watch on either side are Stützle and Elias Pettersson. For the Sens, the young German phenom has compiled five goals and four assists over his past five games, which has seen him crack 50 points in his sophomore season while pulling him into second in overall points behind the Captain. For the Canucks, Pettersson has been slightly more impressive, with five goals and five assist over his last five contests.
- On the second night of a back-to-back, we can expect Filip Gustavsson to get the start tonight. The team mentioned when they flipped Gustavsson and Mads Søgaard that Gustavsson would get games down the stretch.
- Thatcher Demko will be in net for the Canucks. Demko is a notorious Sens killer, as he has a 6-3-0 record with a sterling 0.930SV% against Ottawa through nine starts.
- The Canucks are red hot with multiple players posting over a point per game in recent stretches. JT Miller has 18 points in his last 13 games, Pettersson has 21 in his last 14 while former Senator Alex Chiasson has 10 points in his last 7 games.
|Goals||Josh Norris||34||Cam Atkinson, James van Riemsdyk||23|
|Assists||Brady Tkachuk||36||Travis Konecny||36|
|Points||Brady Tkachuk||65||Travis Konecny||52|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||277||Travis Konecny||217|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||26:15||Ivan Provorov||24:52|
|Penalty Kill %||80.9||11th||75.8||27h|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||47.9||21st||46.52||27th|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||46.99||24th||46.28||26th|