Game 81 Preview and Open Thread: Florida Panthers @ Ottawa Senators

The Sens play their final home game of the season

The Ottawa Senators will have a difficult time outperforming themselves in terms of entertainment value after a 5-4 overtime win on Tuesday night. Although technically a division rival, the Panthers hardly feel like any more of a nemesis than the Devils (especially given the disparity in the standings between Florida and Ottawa) but naturally the Sens will want to wrap up their home schedule on a positive note. Filip Gustavsson projects to get the start at home. The Sens went with these lines and pairings last game:

Tkachuk - Norris - Batherson
Formenton - Stützle - Gaudette
Tierney - Kastelic - Sabourin
Kelly - Gambrell - Watson

Chabot - Hamonic
Brännström - Zub
Holden - Zaitsev

After going almost a month without a loss, the Cats have suddenly lost two in a row but then again with home ice advantage locked up through the Eastern Conference post-season, I don’t think anyone in Florida has lost much sleep. Spencer Knight will start in Ottawa tonight and the Panthers went with these lines and pairings last game:

Verhaeghe - Barkov - Giroux
Duclair - Bennett - Huberdeau
Lundell - Acciari - Reinhart
Luostarien - Thornton - Hornqvist

Forsling - Weegar
Chiarot - Montour
Hagg - Gudas

Game Notes

  • Today I learned that the Cats have only used two goalies this season (!) and it kind of put into perspective how badly Ottawa has suffered at the mandibles of the injury bug this year.
  • Speaking of injuries, of note, Florida could lack the services of Radko Gudas, Anton Lundell, and Aaron Ekblad (LTIR) tonight.
  • For the Senators, it looks like Colin White, Connor Brown, Mathieu Joseph, Shane Pinto, and Tyler Ennis will all miss the final home game of the season.
  • We can also conclude definitively that Jake Sanderson will not get to play in front of fans in Ottawa this season.
  • Florida could potentially clinch the President’s Trophy tonight.
  • Statistically Florida obviously has the advantage almost across the board but Ottawa has the better penalty kill save percentage (89.2), powerplay shooting percentage (13.1), and powerplay xGF/60 (7.67) so at least they can possibly keep special teams interesting.
  • Stats as always courtesy of naturalstattrick/

Where to watch/listen: TSN5 RDS2 TSN1200 @ 7PM EST



Game 81OttawaSenatorsFloridaPanthers
GoalsJosh Norris34Aleksander Barkov39
AssistsBrady Tkachuk36Jonathan Huberdeau85
PointsBrady Tkachuk65Jonathan Huberdeau115
ShotsBrady Tkachuk277Sam Bennett237
TOIThomas Chabot26:14Aaron Ekblad24:54


Game 81OttawaSenatorsFloridaPanthers
Goals against23rd3.1912th2.86
Shots against27th33.139th30.23
Penalty Kill13th80.7%15th79.5%
Corsi (5V5SVA)21st47.7%2nd57.3%
xGoals (5V5SVA)24th47.0%2nd56.5%

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