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Game 37 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators versus Buffalo Sabres

Pretend last night never happened

Buffalo Sabres v Ottawa Senators Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

If you want to take a good news/bad news approach to this gameday then consider it good news that the Sabres also played yesterday and consider it bad news that Buffalo beat Boston (and probably have a lot more confidence today than Ottawa after that rough night in Detroit). I think Ottawa and Buffalo have much more similar teams than the standings suggest, but all the peripheral numbers remain meaningless for the Sens until they can routinely beat the teams they should beat. They’ll try again, at home this time, to prove their legitimacy in a season when two steps backwards always seem to follow any sort of forward progress.

Game Notes:

  • For the Sens, Erik Brännström, Rourke Chartier, Mathieu Joseph, Tyler Motte, Josh Norris, and Nikita Zaitsev remain on the injured list while the Sabres currently have Eric Comrie and Henri Jokiharju in their infirmary.
  • With both teams playing the second half of a back-to-back and with Cam Talbot and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen having played for Ottawa and Buffalo respectively yesterday, we should expect Craig Anderson and Anton Forsberg to start today.
  • Looking at Tage thompson’s numbers and Buffalo’s goal differential you can probably already tell that the Sabres have absurd shooting rates (Ottawa naturally has struggled in this category most of the season).
  • Ottawa technically has the better at five-on-five rates in terms of generating and suppressing chances but the Sens just can’t convert (with five-on-five goaltending about the same for both teams).
  • Ottawa again has better powerplay rates but Buffalo converts on way more of their chances. The penalty kill looks like Ottawa’s one clear advantage in an otherwise relatively even match-up.

Expected and Actual Goals

Team 5V5 xGF/60 5V5 Sh% 5V5 xGA/60 5V5 Sv% PP xGF/60 PP Sh% PK xGA/60 PK Sv%
Team 5V5 xGF/60 5V5 Sh% 5V5 xGA/60 5V5 Sv% PP xGF/60 PP Sh% PK xGA/60 PK Sv%
Ottawa 2.85 6.64 2.64 91.30 9.31 17.54 8.61 88.89
Buffalo 2.61 9.98 2.73 91.45 6.95 19.27 9.24 85.17

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

Lines from Last Game:

Ottawa Senators:

Tkachuk - Stützle - Giroux
DeBrincat - Pinto - Batherson
Kelly - Gambrell - Lucchini
Brassard - Kastelic - Watson

Chabot - Zub
Sanderson - Hamonic
Holden - Bernard-Docker

Buffalo Sabres:

Skinner - Thompson - Tuch
Girgensons - Krebs - Okposo
Peterka - Cozens - Quinn
Mittelstadt - Jost - Olofsson

Dahlin - Samuelsson
Power - Clague
Bryson - Lyubushkin

Stats:

Players

Game 37 Ottawa Senators Buffalo Sabres
Game 37 Ottawa Senators Buffalo Sabres
Category Player # Player #
Goals Claude Giroux 15 Tage Thompson 27
Assists Brady Tkachuk 25 Rasmus Dahlin 28
Points Brady Tkachuk 38 Tage Thompson 51
Shots Brady Tkachuk 155 Tage Thompson 151
ATOI Thomas Chabot 26:08 Rasmus Dahlin 26:11

Teams

Game 38 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Game 38 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 3.00 24th 2.69 27th
Goals Against/GP 3.14 17th 3.91 31st
Shots/GP 33.2 6th 29.4 27th
Shots Against/GP 32.5 22nd 35.3 31st
Powerplay % 27.7 4th 15.8 29th
Penalty Kill % 81.7 9th 78.6 16th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 51.01 16th 43.79 29th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 51.15 15th 43.40 28th