Game 41 Preview and Open Thread: Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators
Ninth time’s the charm?!
The Ottawa Senators are now 0-8-0 against the Edmonton Oilers. Even with the discrepancy between the skill level of both of these teams, it’s still unfortunate that the Sens haven’t been able to put together a single victory in this series. Alas, the good news is that they’ve put together a decent amount of wins against most of their other opponents this year, and tonight’s tilt will be the last we see of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl for a long time.
Another piece of good news is that this is another home game, and the Senators have looked pretty good against Edmonton when playing in their own building, keeping things close both on the scoresheet and shot clock. It’s also worth mentioning that the team’s former Achilles’ heel; its goaltending, has been carrying the team recently; Marcus Högberg was solid yesterday and Anton Forsberg, tonight’s expected starter, has been a brick wall. If he can keep it going, and if the Senators repeat their strong defensive effort from yesterday, maybe, just maybe...they’ll make it to overtime.
Here are tonight’s projected lines for your Ottawa Senators (based on yesterday’s line-up and recent media availability):
Stützle - Tierney - Batherson
Dzingel - Amadio - C. Brown
Formenton - Anisimov - Dadonov
Chabot - Zaitsev
Reilly - Zub
Brännström - Gudbranson
- Erik Brännström will draw into the lineup tonight for the first time since March 10th. It’s about time, too. Head Coach D.J. Smith stated yesterday that Brännström will see more action after the trade deadline, implying that the Senators have been playing Braydon Coburn in order to showcase him for a trade. I won’t be surprised to see Coburn moved in a few days, even if it’s for nothing more than AHL depth, just to free up a spot and save some cash.
- Mike Amadio, acquired from Los Angeles for Christian Wolanin, is expected to make his Senators debut tonight. He has two assists in 20 games this season from his stint with the Kings. Ryan Dzingel is out with an upper-body injury and won’t play tonight.
- After one-and-a half seasons with Ottawa, Connor Brown has established himself as a player that can do pretty much anything, except score goals. Guys like him work incredibly hard for little reward, so it’s all the more sweet when they catch fire for a stretch of games. Brown is currently on a five-game goalscoring streak, and it’s not just because of poor puck handling by opposing goalies; he’s found himself in high-danger areas and is making his chances count.
- Tim Stützle’s had a rough go of it lately, with just one assist in his last six games. He’s done very well for a nineteen-year-old rookie, but it might be time for the Senators to consider giving him a short stint in Belleville. He’ll become a consistent threat once he limits his overthinking in the offensive zone, and it’ll be much easier to work on that in the AHL. This would also allow Ottawa to get a look at Vitaly Abramov or Egor Sokolov.
- Tonight’s game will air at 7:00 EST, on TSN5, RDS, Sportsnet West, and during Senators’ power-plays, Comedy Central./
Stats (from NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.com):
|Goals||Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson||12||Connor McDavid||23|
|Assists||Thomas Chabot||20||Connor McDavid||45|
|Points||Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot||24||Connor McDavid||68|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||161||Connor McDavid||147|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||26:28||Darnell Nurse||25:45|
|Penalty Kill %||76.6||22nd||78.8||17th|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||47.22||24th||48.9||17th|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||46.01||26th||50.05||14th|