Game 71 Hub: Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres

Cue the 8-3-1 run to finish outside of the bottom-10...

Game 71 Hub: Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres
Photo by Tobias Cornille / Unsplash

I came across quite an amazing discovery over the weekend.

Apparently, it's possible to win a hockey game even if you get outplayed by the opposing team! Your team‘s goalie plays really well and you win despite not having “earned it”. Who knew?

The Ottawa Senators are looking for a third straight win tonight, on the road against the Buffalo Sabres, who are 8 points back of the Washington Capitals for the final East wildcard spot. It's a game the Sabres can't afford to lose, but they can't take their opponents lightly. Hell hath no fury like the Ottawa Senators in a meaningless hockey game.

No changes are expected to be made to the lineup from Sunday's 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers:

Game Notes:

  • Joonas Korpisalo is playing well of late, with at least a .900 save percentage in 4 of his last 5 starts. Coincidentally, Ottawa's record in those games is 4-1-0. Though unless he finishes the year above .900, I'm still buying him out in the offseason and offering a deal to Anthony Stolarz or Laurent Brossoit if I'm Steve Staios.
  • While I was correct about Buffalo's finishing regressing, I was caught off guard by the success of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who has a 24-18-3 record with a .913 SV%. Wonder what Ottawa's record would be with that level of goaltending?
  • The pairing of Thomas Chabot and Erik Brännström was a disaster last season, but the two have played pretty well together this time around, with a 5-on-5 expected goals share of 56.25% and a +2 goal differential. With Jake Sanderson and Artem Zub locking it down on the top pairing, you would hope that Jakob Chychrun can at least be a competent third-pairing defender. He's been that in the last two games, but do we take our chances with another full season, or do we cut our losses?
  • Tonight's 7:00 pm EST game is available on Sportsnet, RDS, and TSN 1200.


Game 71 Senators Sabres
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 3.17 14th 2.97 20th
Goals Against/GP 3.56 29th 2.99 15th
Shots/GP 32.1 9th 31.0 15th
Shots Against/GP 30.0 16th 29.2 8th
Powerplay % 17.7 24th 16.3 27th
Penalty Kill % 73.0 31st 78.6 20th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 49.39 20th 50.30 16th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 48.66 21st 48.61 23rd
Game 71 Senators Sabres
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk 31 Skinner, Peterka 24
Assists Tim Stützle 50 Rasmus Dahlin 35
Points Tim Stützle 68 Rasmus Dahlin 73
Shots Brady Tkachuk 302 Tage Thompson 217
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 23:43 Rasmus Dahlin 25:36

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