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Game 46 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators vs Winnipeg Jets

Goals? Saves? Can we have both at the same time? Please?

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators simply can’t catch a break.

It doesn’t matter if the team takes or allows 39 shots, 29 shots, or 19 shots. They don’t get the goals and they don’t get the saves. The lack of talent in the bottom six is a problem, but luck is the most significant factor.

Just look at the last two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Yes, they won the first game on Thursday, but Cam Talbot’s putrid .789 save percentage gave a free point to the Pens in the standings, in a game the team dominated and should’ve won in regulation.

Then, on Saturday, they lose 4-1 thanks to yet another fantastic performance in goal by an opposing netminder. When the Sens did get one of those “greasy goals”, it was called back because of a premature whistle.

They’ve been so tremendously unlucky that at this point, the term “Hamburglar run” has become synonymous with the term “regression to the mean”. Even the 2019-20 Sens (featuring 2C Chris Tierney) were better at finishing on their chances than this squad, so that’s saying something.

Anyway, the Winnipeg Jets are tonight’s opponents, and like most teams in the league, are weaker than the Sens in terms of shot metrics, but since the shot count is irrelevant as has been proven countless times this season, they’re actually a much better team than Ottawa, with a 29-16-1 record, good for 2nd in the Central Division.

The lines are TBD for now but expect Anton Forsberg to get the second half of the back-to-back tonight.

Game Notes:

  • Of the members of Ottawa’s top-six, Brady Tkachuk is the only one who’s scored at a point-per-game pace in the last 5 games. So, either things turn around, or Alex DeBrincat’s deal will be even easier to fit under the cap! Checkmate.
  • Well, what other Senators have done anything of note recently? Well, the answer is none of them. But I do think Nick Holden has had a nice stretch of play recently. No points, but he’s been on the right side of the shot count (which again, is irrelevant, but still) in 5 of the last 6 games, and was at 50% against Colorado in a 7-0 loss which is relatively good. And I saw some really good defensive plays from him in the last game against Pittsburgh in particular. I’d say he’s been the team’s most underrated player this season.
  • He’s been in the league for a long time, but defenceman Josh Morrissey has been the breakout player of the season for the Jets. He’s got 50 points in just 46 games, already a career-high.
  • It’s a 7:00 PM EST start, and you can watch the game on Sportsnet One and City TV.

Stats:

Team Stats

Game 47 Ottawa Senators New York Islanders
Game 47 Ottawa Senators New York Islanders
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.87 25th 2.92 24th
Goals Against/GP 3.30 20th 2.82 10th
Shots/GP 33.6 5th 30.5 21st
Shots Against/GP 31.7 19th 31.4 17th
Powerplay % 26.3 4th 16.4 29th
Penalty Kill % 80.8 11th 82.6 5th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 51.82 10th 48.85 23rd
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 51.88 12th 48.32 23rd

Player Stats

Game 47 Ottawa Senators New York Islanders
Game 47 Ottawa Senators New York Islanders
Category Player # Player #
Goals Tim Stutzle 20 Brock Nelson 17
Assists Brady Tkachuk 30 Mathew Barzal 31
Points Brady Tkachuk 47 Brock Nelson 42
Shots Brady Tkachuk 196 Brock Nelson 140
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 25:58 Noah Dobson 21:04