Game 26 Preview: New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators

It’s a rematch of Monday’s loss

What a difference a few minutes makes. Close to being a on a five-game losing streak, some late-game heroics by Brady Tkachuk and Matt Duchene gave the Sens life. Now they look to continue to right the ship and have a two-game win streak for just the third time this season. The Rangers come to town having not played since Monday’s win.

It appears that other than swapping Mike McKenna for Craig Anderson, the lineup remains the same. This means Max McCormick continues to be a healthy scratch and Mark Borowiecki continues to sniff out bloggers be hurt. Here are the projected lines via Brent Wallace:

Dzingel - Duchene - Batherson
Tkachuk - White - Stone
Boedker - Tierney - Ryan
Pyatt - Smith - Paajarvi

Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie - Jaros
Harpur - Ceci

Anderson (starter)

My subjective thoughts:

  • It was weird seeing Tom Pyatt on the top line for “defensive responsibility”, though really Duchene had a rotating cast of wingers last game. Hopefully that top six stays mostly intact to help build familiarity.
  • Funny how every line Mark Stone plays on seems to be the top line, eh? I hope Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau buy him drinks regularly to thank him for their extensions. I wondering how much Brady Tkachuk and especially Colin White are benefiting now. Don’t get me wrong, I think both those guys are more skilled than Smith/Pageau, I just think that everyone’s point totals get inflated with Stone on their wing. OK players (Smith) becomes good players. Good players (White) become great players. Great players (Tkachuk) become sensations.
  • SportLogiQ had a recent stat that most forwards win 37% of their neutral zone puck battles, while Stone wins 68%. That’s incredible.
  • This is Ian Mendes’ point, but Stone’s role on this team is very Daniel Alfredsson-esque. He’s a right-winger who is the heart of this team. I remember a few years when Alfie, arguably still the team’s best forward in his last-30s, played on the second line to help bring Mika Zibanejad along. That’s kind of what Stone’s doing here — give Duchene the top line, while Stone helps bring White into a regular NHL scoring role.
  • The Rangers’ ice time leader is Neal Pionk, who I swear I heard of for the first time 5 hours ago.
  • /

      Rachel McKenna (Mike’s wife) reminded us all about the effect call-ups and team uncertainties can have on a family:

      It can’t be easy not knowing whether your husband will be in Ottawa for days, weeks, or the rest of the season. It also can’t be easy not knowing if you’ll be away from your family for days, weeks, or the rest of the season.

      Here are the stats:

      Team Stats

      CategoryOttawaSenatorsColumbusBlue Jackets
      Goals Against/GP3.9231st3.0319th
      Shots Against/GP37.431st30.58th
      Powerplay %21.811th13.430th
      Penalty Kill %74.528th79.216th
      Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted)42.9131st49.8615th
      Fenwick (5v5, SVA)43.2531st51.4211th

      Player Stats

      GoalsMark Stone18Cam Atkinson23
      AssistsThomas Chabot28Artemi Panarin29
      PointsMark Stone43Artemi Panarin41
      ShotsThomas Chabot100Cam Atkinson149
      TOI/GPThomas Chabot23:52Seth Jones26:18

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