Game 25 Preview and Open Thread: Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators
Senators hope to get their offence going against tired Bruins
The Sens have every reason to come out guns-a-blazin’ in this one after getting shut out by Joonas Korpisalo and the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Monday night. Although Ottawa performed admirably in terms of shot volume, they couldn’t create much in terms of quality scoring opportunities and Ottawa’s powerplay looked about as toothless as they come.
The Bruins meanwhile come into Ottawa having embarrassed the Montreal Canadiens 8-1 at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night. The Bruins remain one of the strongest teams in the league in terms of shooting talent, save percentage, and special teams efficiency. The Sens absolutely need to take advantage of the Bruins probable fatigue as the latter play the second game of a back-to-back set on the road against division rivals.
Ottawa has lots of moving parts right now by virtue of injury so expect possible changes to this lineup that took on the Jackets. Marcus Hogberg was called up this morning (no word on why yet), so at the least we can expect one of Craig Anderson or Anders Nilsson to not dress tonight.
In a bizarre twist, the Bruins started Jaroslav Halak against his old team on Tuesday so Ottawa will likely get Tuukka Rask. Boston iced this lineup against Montreal (again, expect changes):
- I wrote my very first game recap for S7S against these same Bruins and I hope everything goes entirely differently this time around. Although the shots ended up closer than I expected, Boston’s stars got the best of Ottawa, Rask outperformed Craig Anderson, and, most significantly, Scott Sabourin and David Backes suffered serious injuries.
- The Bruins will not have their number one centre, Patrice Bergeron as he recovers from a lower body injury per NESN.
- While the Bruins look like the team to beat in the Eastern conference, the Senators still puzzle me. They generate good chances at five-on-five while their shot metrics leave something to be desired; goaltending has helped mitigate the shots against to an extent; we have documented the struggles of the powerplay while the penalty kill has looked admirable; and most players have contributed some offence while no one particular player has caught fire since Pageau went on his tear. Although Ottawa hasn’t played itself into the playoff discussion, the Senators may have already separated themselves from the Red Wings, Devils, and Rangers in draft lottery odds.
- You can catch this one on Sportsnet360, TVAS, and TSN1200./
Stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick:
|Goals||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||13||David Pastrnak||23|
|Assists||Connor Brown / Thomas Chabot||12||Brad Marchand||25|
|Points||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||19||Brad Marchand||42|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||92||David Pastrnak||98|
|Time On Ice||Thomas Chabot||25:21||Charlie McAvoy||22:29|
|Penalty Kill %||83.1||12th||82.2||15th|
|Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)||46.98||26th||52.17||7th|
|Fenwick % (5v5, SVA)||48.09||23rd||51.81||9th|