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Game 64 Preview + Open Thread: Senators @ Kraken

The Senators head out west to face the Kraken in Seattle

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Seattle Kraken Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday morning, the vibes were as good as they had been in years for the Ottawa Senators fanbase. The team had won five straight games for the first time since 2017, and they were about to face the 31st-place Chicago Blackhawks. The vibes are still incredibly high three days later, but the wind was taken out of our sails on Monday night after a dreadful 5-0 loss in Chicago.

The Senators have a chance to rebound tonight but it will be a difficult task on the road as they face the Seattle Kraken. Ottawa lost 8-4 to the Kraken at home on January 7th, which was an embarrassing defensive display. The season seemed lost at that point, but just two months later, the Senators have a glimmer of hope. It won’t be an easy game, as they had to travel from Chicago to Seattle, plus the Kraken sit 10th overall in points percentage with a 37-21-6 record.

The Senators skated yesterday, and these were the lines that were used, although they could definitely change. We do know that Mads Søgaard will be starting though:

Game Notes:

  • Despite a 21-9-3 record on the road, the Kraken are “only” 16-12-3 at home, which surprised me. Having said that, Ottawa can’t underestimate them at all as they are a deserving playoff team.
  • The Kraken don’t really have any stars to look out for, but what they do have is fantastic depth, as each line can score. They have ten forwards who are on pace for 40+ points, although the top scorer (Jordan Eberle) is only on pace for 65 points. Look for Seattle to control the game when the 3rd and 4th lines are out there, and if Ottawa can flip the script, that could be the key to winning.
  • Cam Talbot is out for about three weeks, so Mads Søgaard and Kevin Mandolese will have to be up to the task. No pressure, kids.
  • It seems that DJ Smith is really wanting to hold onto Travis Hamonic staying with Jake Sanderson, which is the only defense pairing he won’t split up. I get wanting to ease Jakob Chychrun into a certain role, but if the Senators want to be as successful as possible, they can’t have a clearly inferior Hamonic in the top-4. Furthermore, we’ll see if Erik Brännström is out of the lineup in favour of Nick Holden, and if he is, that’d be another decision to hurt the team.
  • If he’s in the lineup, tonight will be Patrick Brown’s first game as a Senator. The 30-year-old centre has just 19 career points in 120 games, so as long as he’s responsible defensively, he’ll be doing his job.
  • Heading into tonight, the Senators sit five points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wildcard spot, with the same amount of games played. However, they’re also six points back of the New York Islanders with three games in hand. Ottawa still needs to get the job done with a good chunk of these games, but they’re very much alive in this race.
  • Puck drop is a late one, 10 pm EST. Stay up late with us!

Player Stats

Game 67 Ottawa Senators Edmonton Oilers
Game 67 Ottawa Senators Edmonton Oilers
Category Player # Player #
Goals Tim Stützle 32 Connor McDavid 55
Assists Brady Tkachuk 40 Connor McDavid 72
Points Tim Stützle 71 Connor McDavid 127
Shots Brady Tkachuk 268 Connor McDavid 292
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 25:18 Darnell Nurse 23:44

Chychrun With Sens Defensemen

Defense Partner TOI (5v5) CF% FF% SF% xGF% SCF%
Defense Partner TOI (5v5) CF% FF% SF% xGF% SCF%
Holden 30:04:00 50.91 51.22 45.45 45.36 39.39
Sanderson 22:55 51.67 53.49 51.52 47.61 43.33
Brännström 15:50 66.67 72.73 66.67 69.14 61.11
Chabot 12:17 70.83 70.59 71.43 71.57 66.67