Game 56 Preview + Open Thread: Senators @ Bruins

Ottawa travels to Boston as they look to make it 8-1-1 in their last 10 games

Friday night was not the best for the Ottawa Senators as they blew a late 3-1 lead against the leagues-worst Chicago Blackhawks, although they made up for it with one of their best wins of the season yesterday over the St. Louis Blues, 7-2. Today is a much different task though, as the Senators had to fly to Boston and play the leagues-best Bruins this afternoon. Ottawa is slowly creeping back into the playoff race, and suffice it to say, if they’re able to get a win on the road against a juggernaut like Boston while on short rest, that’ll be an excellent sign for their playoff push.

Without a skate between yesterday’s game and today, it’s a guessing game as to what the lines will be. We know that newly acquired Julien Gauthier will be in the lineup for Derick Brassard though, so the lines could look something like this but with Brassard out:

In addition, Kevin Mandolese will get his second career start, as they prefer to not have Søgaard play back-to-back days. Cam Talbot is not quite ready to play, but they hope by Friday he will be.

Game Notes:

  • The Bruins home record is an astonishing 23-2-3, and their first regulation home loss didn’t come until January 12th vs. the Seattle Kraken. Despite having just eight regulation losses and five overtime losses in 55 games, Ottawa gave them one regulation and one shootout loss. Albeit, both games were in Ottawa.
  • As you’ll see below, Boston’s team stats are eye-popping. 3rd in goals for, 1st in goals against, 1st in penalty kill, 7th in powerplay, and 5th in expected goals percentage. It’s funny how most of us seemed to think they were going to be the team in the Atlantic to drop off this season.
  • Gauthier will play his first game for the Senators. He had six goals and three assists in 40 games for the New York Rangers. He briefly played with Tomas Chabot and Mathieu Joseph in 2016-17 for the Saint John Sea Dogs, which is a nice connection for the trio.
  • Tim Stützle looks to continue to carry the team, as he has 28 points in 19 games in 2023, which ranks fourth in the entire league. He continues to impress more and more each game.
  • Ottawa is 7-1-1 over their past nine games, which has really vaulted them into striking distance of a playoff spot. They’re five points back of the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot with four games in hand, which is very doable to overcome. However, the Buffalo Sabres are the real target because they have the best points percentage, and are two points up with one fewer game played. But a four point gap isn’t impossible to overcome, it just makes it more challenging when there are four additional teams that they’d have to leapfrog. Meaningful games are the bare minimum here.
  • Erik Brännström has four points in his last five games, and hopefully he can keep producing while he gets more ice time with Jake Sanderson out for a little bit longer./

Team Stats

Game 60OttawaSenatorsSeattleKraken
Goals Against/GP3.1417th3.1116th
Shots Against/GP31.519th27.63rd
Powerplay %24.56th20.220th
Penalty Kill %83.15th74.626th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA)51.6210th52.265th
xGF % (5v5 SVA)51.8914th50.2119th

Player Stats

Game 64OttawaSenatorsSeattleKraken
GoalsTim Stützle31Jared McCann31
AssistsBrady Tkachuk40Jordan Eberle37
PointsBrady Tkachuk/Tim Stützle66Jordan Eberle51
ShotsBrady Tkachuk259Oliver Bjorkstrand161
Time on Ice/GPThomas Chabot25:31Adam Larsson23:54

Puck drop is early today at 1:00 EST.

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