Game 40 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Philadelphia Flyers
Will the losing streak end tonight?
The Ottawa Senators will try once more to end their losing streak when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers. Despite firing 188 shots on opposition nets, the Senators have scored only seven goals in the current five game losing streak. In each of the four losses on the road trip, Ottawa has been in a tie game with less than 10 minutes left, and has lost all of them in regulation.
The Senators have used three different goaltenders during the losing streak, with Robin Lehner the only goaltender to stop even 90% of his shots in any of the games. Lehner will get the start tonight and the other change will be the NHL debut of Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the place of Peter Regin. Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent.
Latendresse - Turris - Alfredsson
Conacher - Zibanejad - Silfverberg
Greening - Pageau - Condra
Kassian - Smith - Neil
Wiercioch - Gonchar
Methot - Gryba
Phillips - Benoit
Here are some notes for tonight:
- Pageau will be making his NHL debut and he is getting some decent players to play with in Colin Greening and Erik Condra. Condra for his part must be happy to get away from the possession black hole that is Matt Kassian. I for one am very excited to see Pageau tonight.
- The top two lines stay the same, but Kassian will now be playing with Zack Smith and Chris Neil. Smith and Neil haven't played that great recently, but I imagine they would probably get double shifted with someone other than Kassian.
- Craig Anderson hasn't been horrible since his return, but he hasn't been that great either. Getting Robin Lehner in the first of a back-to-back is as good a time as any. I think we'll see a good performance from Lehner tonight.
- I have said this a few times, but I don't think the Senators have to change their game too much. They have played well enough in the last five games to come away with 5-6 points, but instead they came away with zero. The only thing they can really improve on is to take a few more of the numerous chances that they have created. The top line especially was fantastic against Tampa Bay.
- Other games of note tonight: Carolina/Washington, New York Islanders/Boston, Florida/Winnipeg. If everything goes perfectly for Ottawa, they could stay in sixth and open up a four point lead on ninth place Winnipeg and have two games in hand. If the worst case happens, the Senators would drop to eighth and only be ahead of ninth place Winnipeg due to the two games in hand.