Game 77 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Ottawa's last game against a lottery team and then we get five not-so-nice matchups

Game 77 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Columbus Blue Jackets

The Sens still have five games left after tonight to pad personal stats and make the best possible impression heading into the off-season, but any player looking to do so should probably take advantage of a more mediocre opponent in Columbus before the season winds down with some more formidable opposition on its way.

Of note, Tim Stützle and Brady Tkachuk can still make a run at 40 goals while Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat can realistically still manage 30. Any member of the top line could reach 50 assists. Jake Sanderson sits second in rookie scoring among defenders and Shane Pinto remains tied for third in rookie goal-scoring.

I don't know that we can realistically expect Ottawa to break even in all situation goals for and against given the remaining schedule but they can still try to break even in trivial categories like shorthanded goals for/against or penalties drawn/taken. I also don't think any of us really need to dig too deep for reasons to keep watching this team given the progress they've made this year and given the fact that this core will almost certainly pick up where they left off come the fall. Despite the seemingly inevitably disappointing ending, this team has given us plenty of reason to watch.

Game Notes

  • Ottawa's Injuries: Derick Brassard, Thomas Chabot, Jakob Chychrun, Anton Forsberg, Julien Gauthier, Travis Hamonic, Parker Kelly, and Josh Norris.
  • The Sens have recalled Leevi Merilainen in response to Søgaard leaving last night's game with an illness, but I would be shocked to see him in net as he played last night for Belleville (where he posted a shutout!)
  • Columbus' Injuries: Jake Bean, Nick Blankenburg, Adam Boqvist, Justin Danforth, Erik Gudbranson, Patrik Laine, Elvis Merzilikins, Mathieu Olivier, Lane Pederson, Jack Roslovic, and Zach Werenski.
  • Columbus lost 7-0 last night (hosted Panthers) and Michael Hutchinson got the start. It bodes well for Ottawa that both teams play the second half of back-to-backs but also the Jackets got to sleep in their own beds last night.
  • As you well know by now, the Senators have had their struggles at five-on-five this season, living and dying on special teams. So it brings me no pleasure informing you that when it comes to five-on-five PDO, the Sens share the same zip code as the basement-dwelling Blue Jackets (< 1.000). In terms of expected goals at five-on-five however (as you can see in the team stats) has an advantage of over five percentage points so, no, Ottawa has no excuses not to take care of business tonight.
  • The Jackets generate more on the powerplay than I would have expected given their roster (8.02 expected goals per 60) but Ottawa still has the advantage (9.46). Ottawa also has the advantage on the penalty kill (just about 0.5 fewer expected goals against per 60). Overall the Jackets have had some of the least effective goaltending in the NHL this season (88.7%). Stats still courtesy of natural stat trick
  • Can you imagine this Jackets team had they not signed Gaudreau?

Where to watch/listen: RDS TSN5 TSN1200 @6PM EST

Lines from Last Game

Ottawa Senators

Tkachuk - Stützle - Giroux
DeBrincat - Pinto - Batherson
Joseph - Gambrell - Greig
Brown - Kastelic - Watson

Sanderson - Zub
Brännström - Bernard-Docker
Kleven - Holden

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gaudreau - Jenner - Marchenko
Luoto - Dunne - McKown
Johnson - Richards - Bemstrom
Robinson - Kuraly - Foudy

Peeke - Berni
Christiansen - Bjork
Sweezy - Bayreuther


Game 77 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Category Player # Player #
Goals Tim Stützle 37 Boone Jenner 25
Assists Tim Stützle 47 Johnny Goudreau 50
Points Tim Stützle 84 Johnny Goudreau 69
Shots Brady Tkachuk 324 Boone Jenner 209
ATOI Thomas Chabot 24:58 Zach Werenski 23:35
Game 77 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Category Rank # Rank #
Goals 18th 3.12 30th 2.62
Goals against 19th 3.21 31st 3.95
Shots 7th 33.0 25th 29.3
Shots against 20th 31.2 31st 35.1
Powerplay 6th 24.6% 25th 18.5%
Penalty Kill 10th 81.8% 22nd 75.6%
Corsi% (5V5SVA) 16th 50.5% 29th 43.6%
xGoals% (5V5SVA) 18th 50.2% 28th 43.7%

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