Game 8 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Florida Panthers

Let the rivalry begin (again)

Game Notes:

  • Looking at the stats tables below, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news: Ottawa has gotten much closer to Florida in overall team quality since last year. The bad news: the Panthers have underperformed their expected outcomes significantly so far and will break out offensively against an unsuspecting opponent very soon.
  • While Ottawa’s special teams conversions outrank Florida’s, the Cats give up less on the penalty kill (7.08 xGA/60 to Ottawa’s 7.30) and generate more on the powerplay (9.17 xGF/60 to Ottawa’s 7.62). Again, much closer than last year, but Florida has the better expected rates to Ottawa’s better conversions to date.
  • The same applies at five-on-five where the Cats give up less on defence (2.10 xGA/60 to Ottawa’s 2.36) and generate almost as much as the Sens (2.88 xGF/60 to Ottawa’s 3.00).
  • Folks know the Panthers have a very good team now and the Sens won’t take their opponent lightly but they should probably also prepare for a considerable uptick in Florida’s shooting percentage one of these days.
  • It bodes well then, that Ottawa has gotten slightly better goaltending to date than Florida.
  • Obviously all eyes will be on Brady and Matthew Tkachuk as their rivalry ignites anew, now as division foe. Both brothers lead their respective teams in goals but Ottawa has a more diverse distribution of statistical leaders in other categories (it feels so foreign seeing a player other than Brady lead the Sens in shots (and it also feels off seeing a defender other than Aaron Ekblad leading the Panthers in ATOI)) while Matthew leads his team in most offensive categories.
  • Speaking of Ekblad, he remains on the injured reserve for Florida (along with Anthony Duclair) while Artem Zub joins Josh Norris in the Senators’ infirmary.
  • And finally, if you know anything about me then you know that I’ll have my eyes on Colin White (and to a much lesser extent Rudolfs Balcers) throughout this game. Chris Tierney and Michael Del Zotto have spent the season to date with Florida’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte./

Where to watch/listen: TVAS2, TSN5, TSN1200 @4PM EST

Lines from last game:


Tkachuk - Stützle - Batherson
DeBrincat - Brassard - Giroux
Motte - Pinto - Joseph
Kelly - Kastelic - Watson

Chabot - Zub*
Brännström - Zaitsev
Sanderson - Hamonic


Tkachuk - Barkov - Verhaeghe
Balcers - Bennett - Reinhart
Luostarinen - Lundell - White
Lomberg - Staal - Hornqvist

Forsling - Montour
Mahura - Gudas
Staal - Kiersted



Game 8OttawaSenatorsFloridaPanthers
GoalsTkachuk/Pinto5Matthew Tkachuk4
AssistsDrake Batherson7Matthew Tkachuk6
PointsTkachuk/Batherson10Matthew Tkachuk10
ShotsAlex DeBrincat35Matthew Tkachuk39
TOIThomas Chabot25:30Brandon Montour25:18


Game 8OttawaSenatorsFloridaPanthers
Goals against21st3.1419th3.11
Shots against15th31.296th28.50
Penalty Kill23rd76.0%25th75.8%
Corsi (5V5SVA)8th53.3%3rd59.4%
xGoals (5V5SVA)8th56.0%5th57.8%

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