Game 80 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ New York Rangers

It’s almost over

It’s Game 80, which means that if you’re still here, you’ve hung on til the end. It’s been a difficult season as a Senators fan, watching the team fall to the bottom of the standings and then trade their best players away. But it’s been fun watching the team the last few games, seeing a bunch of no-names and youngsters hang with (or beat, in the case of Toronto) legitimate NHL teams. Tonight the Ottawa Who?s take their talents to the Big Apple to take on the New York Rangers.

Ahead of tonight’s game, Christian Wolanin was returned to Belleville with Andreas Englund recalled in his place, but then Ben Harpur got sick so now Wolanin is back up. That gives the team six defencemen, but it’s hard to know who sits among the forwards. Bobby Ryan did the morning skate as a defenceman. Is it possible the $7M-man will be a healthy scratch? If so, here are the projected lines:

Tkachuk - White - Gibbons
Balcers - Pageau - Veronneau
Boedker - Tierney - Duclair
Smith - Lindberg - Paajarvi

Chabot - DeMelo
Wolanin - Ceci
Englund - Jaros

Nilsson (starter)

Some thoughts:

  • Wolanin was returned to Belleville only because Erik Brannstrom and Cody Goloubef are out. Belleville is going to need all the help they can get to make the playoffs, as Spencer reminded us this morning.
  • Speaking of which, what do we think about Rudolfs Balcers? He’s been among this team’s best forwards, but with the big club having nothing to play for, why not return him to Belleville to help with their playoff rush? I’m sure adding Balcers to the mix would be helpful for them.
  • Rangers fans in New Jersey started a “We both suck” chant against the Devils on Monday. How much worse could that get when they play the Sens? (My suggestion: “We suck but you suuuuuuuuuuuuck.”)
  • Looks like Mika Zibanejad will play tonight but Fredrik Claesson will be a healthy scratch, so you only have one former Senator to pay special attention to.
  • Tonight’s game is a matchup between the two worst teams in the league in terms of possession stats. Should be entertaining at the very least./


Team Stats

OttawaSenatorsNew YorkRangers
Goals Against/GP3.6631st3.2724th
Shots Against/GP35.931st33.729th
Powerplay %20.414th19.627th
Penalty Kill %79.621st78.028th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted)44.0431st45.5530th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA)44.7231st45.8730th

Player Stats

OttawaSenatorsNew YorkRangers
GoalsBrady Tkachuk21Mika Zibanejad30
AssistsThomas Chabot 40Mika Zibanejad42
PointsThomas Chabot 53Mika Zibanejad72
ShotsBrady Tkachuk209Mika Zibanejad227
TOI/GPThomas Chabot 24:08Neal Pionk21:15

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