Game 51 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators vs Edmonton Oilers

After 11 days of no hockey, a tough team stands in the way of a five-game winning streak.

Doesn’t it feel better when the last game before a long break happens to be a victory?

You just know that if the Sens ended up losing to the Montreal Canadiens eleven days ago, it would’ve been a rough All-Star Break. Instead, our pain comes from the starvation for NHL hockey, as opposed to the dreading of it.

Heading into that break, Ottawa had won four straight games, outscoring their opponents 18-7 in the process. Is it even possible to take any momentum from that streak with such a long rest period? Against today’s opponents, the Edmonton Oilers, they’ll certainly have to try, as the Oilers have gone 8-0-2 in their last 10 games.

It seems the duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl keep getting better as the years go by, even though the former has been the best player in the world for a while now. McDavid leads the league with 94 points (including 41 goals) in just 52 games, while Draisaitl is second with 76 in 50.

It gets more ridiculous the more I look at it. But it’s certainly not impossible to hold them off in any given match. Heck, a much weaker version of the Ottawa Senators held them to a combined two points in the two games they played against Edmonton last season, with Ottawa winning both.

Here’s how the lines looked during yesterday’s practice, according to TSN’s Claire Hanna:

Game Notes

  • For the third time this season, Artem Zub returns to action from an injury. He’ll provide a boost to the defense corps alongside Thomas Chabot, but I’d actually prefer to see him on the second pair with Jake Sanderson. The two would form the best shutdown pair Ottawa could reasonably hope for, to hold off the Oilers’ top forwards, and Chabot’s partnership with Nick Holden hasn’t been bad by any means.
  • Ridly Greig is back up with the team after a stint with Belleville in which he scored zero goals and zero assists games. Okay?
  • Mark Kastelic is currently playing in Belleville, while Austin Watson and Nikita Zaitsev are likely healthy scratches today. Mads Sogaard is serving as the backup to Anton Forsberg, with Cam Talbot still not ready to return from a lower-body injury.
  • Edmonton, while lacking offensive depth, do have a few weapons outside of their dynamic duo, particularly Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman, with 62 and 60 points respectively. They’re also a much better overall team than before, no longer being a joke defensively, and also with consistent goaltending from a goalie under the age of 46.
  • Today’s game (yes, Today, not Tonight!) will begin at 12:30 PM EST, available on TSN5 and TSN 1200./


Team Stats

Game 51OttawaSenatorsEdmontonOilers
Goals Against/GP3.1820th3.1519th
Shots Against/GP31.820th32.023rd
Powerplay %27.02nd31.81st
Penalty Kill %80.613th76.123rd
Corsi % (5v5 SVA)51.3217th51.4713th
xGF % (5v5 SVA)51.3216th52.3411th

Player Stats

Game 51OttawaSenatorsEdmontonOilers
GoalsTim Stutzle22Connor McDavid41
AssistsBrady Tkachuk31Connor McDavid53
PointsBrady Tkachuk51Cody Ceci94
ShotsBrady Tkachuk209Connor McDavid217
Time on Ice/GPThomas Chabot25:47Darnell Nurse23:51

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