Game 63 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Columbus Blue Jackets

The lone game on trade deadline day is in Lumbus.

Hey, there’s a Sens game tonight!

Weird, right?

The NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and while the stakes may not have been as high as they were last year for Ottawa, they still come away looking like a very different team. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Tyler Ennis and Vladislav Namestnikov have all moved on to better teams, along with Dylan DeMelo who was traded earlier in the week.

Matthew Peca is also expected to make his Senators debut tonight after being acquired from Montreal, although delays in transport may force the Sens to start the game down a man. Hubert Labrie also cleared waivers today to confirm his contract, although has yet to be recalled by Ottawa, assuming their intention is to plug him into a roster spot.

Rudolfs Balcers was also recalled following the deadline, although like Peca, the last-minute notice makes it unlikely that he’ll play tonight.

Bobby Ryan was originally expected to make his return to the lineup tonight after being with the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program since November, although the big game has been delayed to tomorrow against Nashville. It’s been a long and tough journey for him, and he was courageous to openly talk to the media about what he went through.

Additionally, it appears Thomas Chabot is okay after leaving the Sens’ last game injured. He was wearing a regular full-contact jersey in practice today.

Line combos below are adapted from the now-outdated practice lines from TSN 1200. The Sens were expected to go with 11 forwards and 7 defencemen this morning, although that will likely change depending on the statuses of Peca and Balcers. The starting goalie is unknown.

Duclair - Tierney - C. Brown
Tkachuk - White - Hawryluk
Paul - Anisimov - Sabourin
Balcers - Peca - Boedker

Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Englund - Jaros

Anderson / Högberg

Game Notes

  • Well, I think it’s fair to say that the rest of the season is expected to be a slog, even more than it’s already been. Hopefully Brady Tkachuk can spice things up again to make the game watchable.
  • Unlike the Sens, the Blue Jackets stayed relatively silent on the trade front, save for acquiring Devin Shore from the Ducks for Sonny Milano. It’s a bit surprising considering they’re fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot in the tight Metro division — they’re third in wildcard standings, tied in points with the Carolina Hurricanes who had a much busier day.
  • Josh Norris and Drake Batherson were both sent down to Belleville to be eligible for the AHL playoffs, although the move is reportedly more than just a paper transaction, as they’re expected to both stay there for the time being. Unless I’m mistaken, all of Marcus Högberg, Andreas Englund and Christian Jaros are also still eligible given they were called up on an emergency basis.
  • The loss of Pageau notably puts a dent on the team’s special teams, which have been pretty lacklustre to begin with. It’ll be interesting to see who will take his place on both the power play and penalty kill.
  • Game time is 7:00 PM, and you can catch the game on TSN5 or RDS./

Team Stats

OttawaSenatorsLos AngelesKings
Goals against/GP3.3630th3.0014th
Shots against/GP33.529th29.86th
Powerplay %14.331st16.926th
Penalty Kill %76.126th77.126th
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)48.2526th53.134th
xGF% (5v5, SVA)49.7419th51.948th

Player Stats

OttawaSenatorsLos AngelesKings
GoalsAnthony Duclair23Anze Kopitar21
AssistsThomas Chabot33Anze Kopitar41
PointsBrady Tkachuk43Anze Kopitar62
ShotsBrady Tkachuk258Jeff Carter182
TOI/GPThomas Chabot26:02Drew Doughty25:51

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