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Game 81 Preview and Open Thread: Florida Panthers @ Ottawa Senators

The Sens play their final home game of the season

NHL: MAR 26 Panthers at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators will have a difficult time outperforming themselves in terms of entertainment value after a 5-4 overtime win on Tuesday night. Although technically a division rival, the Panthers hardly feel like any more of a nemesis than the Devils (especially given the disparity in the standings between Florida and Ottawa) but naturally the Sens will want to wrap up their home schedule on a positive note. Filip Gustavsson projects to get the start at home. The Sens went with these lines and pairings last game:

Tkachuk - Norris - Batherson
Formenton - Stützle - Gaudette
Tierney - Kastelic - Sabourin
Kelly - Gambrell - Watson

Chabot - Hamonic
Brännström - Zub
Holden - Zaitsev

After going almost a month without a loss, the Cats have suddenly lost two in a row but then again with home ice advantage locked up through the Eastern Conference post-season, I don’t think anyone in Florida has lost much sleep. Spencer Knight will start in Ottawa tonight and the Panthers went with these lines and pairings last game:

Verhaeghe - Barkov - Giroux
Duclair - Bennett - Huberdeau
Lundell - Acciari - Reinhart
Luostarien - Thornton - Hornqvist

Forsling - Weegar
Chiarot - Montour
Hagg - Gudas

Game Notes

  • Today I learned that the Cats have only used two goalies this season (!) and it kind of put into perspective how badly Ottawa has suffered at the mandibles of the injury bug this year.
  • Speaking of injuries, of note, Florida could lack the services of Radko Gudas, Anton Lundell, and Aaron Ekblad (LTIR) tonight.
  • For the Senators, it looks like Colin White, Connor Brown, Mathieu Joseph, Shane Pinto, and Tyler Ennis will all miss the final home game of the season.
  • We can also conclude definitively that Jake Sanderson will not get to play in front of fans in Ottawa this season.
  • Florida could potentially clinch the President’s Trophy tonight.
  • Statistically Florida obviously has the advantage almost across the board but Ottawa has the better penalty kill save percentage (89.2), powerplay shooting percentage (13.1), and powerplay xGF/60 (7.67) so at least they can possibly keep special teams interesting.
  • Stats as always courtesy of naturalstattrick

Where to watch/listen: TSN5 RDS2 TSN1200 @ 7PM EST

Stats

Players

Game 81 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Game 81 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 34 Aleksander Barkov 39
Assists Brady Tkachuk 36 Jonathan Huberdeau 85
Points Brady Tkachuk 65 Jonathan Huberdeau 115
Shots Brady Tkachuk 277 Sam Bennett 237
TOI Thomas Chabot 26:14 Aaron Ekblad 24:54

Teams

Game 81 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Game 81 Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Category Rank # Rank #
Goals 25th 2.72 1st 4.08
Goals against 23rd 3.19 12th 2.86
Shots 20th 29.73 1st 36.92
Shots against 27th 33.13 9th 30.23
Powerplay 20th 19.5% 7th 24.4%
Penalty Kill 13th 80.7% 15th 79.5%
Corsi (5V5SVA) 21st 47.7% 2nd 57.3%
xGoals (5V5SVA) 24th 47.0% 2nd 56.5%