Game 33 Preview + Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Matt Murray Revenge Game?
After an impressive pair of wins in Alberta last week, the Ottawa Senators went and lost 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Tuesday because....of course they did. On the bright side of things, the team played well and likely deserved a better fate. On the other hand, losing to the Sabres immediately after playing some of their best hockey of the season is a very Sens-thing to do.
Tonight’s match-up has Ottawa staring down the Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the top teams in the league. Taking down one of the top squads after falling one of the bottom-dwellers, especially in hilarious fashion, would also be a very Sens-thing to do so I’m pretty much guaranteeing a victory tonight.
- The Sens didn’t practice today, but Smith did indicate that Tyler Ennis would be replaced by Clark Bishop in the line-up.
- For those hoping for a Matt Murray grudge match against his former team, he did travel with the team, and looks set to back up, but the illness that prevented him from starting on Tuesday seems to be lingering. Anton Forsberg will get the start between the pipes. Bit of a head-scratcher, but I don’t have any insider info to add any insight.
- For most of the last 17 years, the Penguins have had a pretty straight forward formula to follow: build depth around Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang and let your stars carry you to the promised land. Taking a look at their forward depth, I regret to say that the Pens once again look like they might have the depth necessary to be real contenders. Keeping the Pens’ offense in check will be a total team effort for Ottawa.
- All those nice things about Pittsburgh being said, I never thought I’d say the day where the Sens have an edge on the power play but it’s real! Look at the table! Ottawa would do well to stay out of the box nonetheless, but the scoring punch of their own PP has been a very pleasant good news story of late.
- Puck drop is 7pm ET, you can watch on TSN5/RDS, or follow along on TSN1200 radio./
All stats are courtesy of NHL.com and naturalstattrick.com:
|Goals||Josh Norris||18||Sebastian Aho||19|
|Assists||Drake Batherson||21||Sebastian Aho||26|
|Points||Drake Batherson||34||Sebastian Aho||45|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||133||Andrei Svechnikov||130|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||27:08:00||Jaccob Slavin||23:51:00|
|Penalty Kill %||80.0||15th||88.7||1st|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||46.66||28th||55.25||3rd|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||46.82||24th||53.99||5th|