Game 42 Preview & Open Thread: Ottawa Senators vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Will this be the game Chabot cracks 40 minutes?
Forty-one down, fifty-seven to go.
Yes, you read that right. That’s 41 regular-season games where the Ottawa Senators make a surprise run and squeak into the playoffs, and then proceed to sweep four different teams to win their first-ever Stanley Cup. Alexis Lafreniere, you say? Never heard of him. Anyway, that run starts tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bolts are currently holding down the 3rd seed in the Atlantic Division with a 22-13-4 record, however they are only a up single point on the Florida Panthers, with a game in hand. There’s a real chance they’ll miss the playoffs, but that might actually be good for them because having to fight for a playoff spot down the stretch will keep them from being too relaxed, as they were last season. This is the reason why the President’s Trophy winner rarely wins the Stanley Cup.
Craig Anderson will start tonight’s game. Here are tonight’s lines, per The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian:
Tkachuk - White - Ennis
Namestnikov - Tierney - Batherson
Balcers - Anisimov - Boedker
Chabot - Borowiecki
Reilly - Jaros
Englund - Goloubef
- Mike Reilly, acquired on Thursday from the Montreal Canadiens, will make his Senators’ debut tonight. He tallied 4 assists in 14 games with the Habs, and GM Pierre Dorion describes him as a “strong-skating puck-moving defenceman”, so expect him to skate strong and move the puck well.
- To make room for Reilly, Erik Brannstrom was re-assigned to Belleville yesterday. He’s a better option in the NHL than Andreas Englund and Cody Goloubef, but more time in the minors is likely ultimately a good thing for his development.
- Anthony Duclair blocked a shot Thursday and will be a game-time decision. If he’s unable to go tonight, it will be Drake Batherson, who was recalled today.
- Nikita Zaitsev was set to return tonight from a lower-body injury, however he suffered a setback during practice before Thursday’s game and is expected to be out a bit longer.
- Vladislav Namestnikov is currently on a cold streak, with two points in his last ten games. If you listen closely, you can actually hear the sound of Dorion’s ringtone dying down.
- Kevin Shattenkirk is proving to be a shrewd signing for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois. Bought out by the New York Rangers in the offseason due to a cap crunch, the 30-year old defenceman signed a 1-year deal worth 1.75M with the Lightning, and has produced 25 points in 39 games thus far./
As per usual, from NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.com:
|Game #58||Ottawa||Senators||Toronto||Maple Leafs|
|Goals||Anthony Duclair/Jean-Gabriel Pageau||21||Auston Matthews||41|
|Assists||Thomas Chabot||26||Mitch Marner||44|
|Points||Connor Brown||35||Auston Matthews||69|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||212||Auston Matthews||236|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||26.01||Morgan Rielly||24:15|
|Penalty Kill %||76.1||26th||77.1||26th|
|Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)||48.25||26th||53.13||4th|
|xGF% (5v5, SVA)||49.74||19th||51.94||8th|
The game is set to begin at 7:00 PM EST, and can be watched on Sportsnet One, or listened to live on TSN 1200.