Game 81 Preview and Open Thread: Hurricanes @ Senators

The Canes need this one to clinch home-ice in the first round, so the Sens can still (sort of) play spoiler

Game 81 Preview and Open Thread: Hurricanes @ Senators

It's the second-last game of the season. The Sens don't really have anything left to play for, but the Canes need this one to clinch home-ice in the first round, so the Sens can still (sort of) play spoiler.

Mads Søgaard will get the start, and the Sens lines at the morning skate were as follows:

As always, here are my thoughts followed by the stats:

  • Sokolov scores his first NHL goal, and then gets demoted to the 4th line? Not sure how I feel about that one.
  • Giroux needs a point in each of the last two games of the season to reach 1000 points for his career. DJ Smith was giving him top-unit powerplay time last game to help him get there.
  • Tyler Kleven has shocked me. Sure, he's only played a handful of NHL games, so let's temper our expectations (remember Bobby Butler straight out of college?), but he seems quietly fine with the NHL game. He's not overwhelmed by the speed or strength of guys, he can mostly make his reads, and he has a bomb of a shot.
  • We haven't made enough of a deal of the fact that the Sens have three 30-goal scorers for the first time since 2007-08, six 20-goal scorers for the first time since 2005-06, and five 60-point scorers for the first time ever. Even without Josh Norris, this may be the best top-six we've ever seen from the Sens. Not the best top-line, that's indisputably Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson, but you'd really have to work hard to talk yourself into Vermette-Fisher-Kelly being better than this team's second line.
  • When the Sens traded for Chychrun, coach DJ Smith said it was an opportunity for Erik Brännström to show he belonged. At the time, Brännström had 39 points in 171 NHL games (0.23 points-per-game); since the trade, he has 9 points in 17 games (0.53 points-per-game). Points aren't everything, as Brännström stans love to point out, but I'd say increasing your point rate by 130% is pretty good.
  • Game starts at 7 pm. It's a Monday game, so coverage is on Sportsnet East, RDS en français, Bally Sports South, and, as always, audio on TSN1200

Stats! (from and

Game 81 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 3.16 19th 3.16 17th
Goals Against/GP 3.30 21st 2.56 2nd
Shots/GP 33.5 6th 34.9 3rd
Shots Against/GP 31.3 8th 25.9 1st
Powerplay % 23.9 7th 20.2 20th
Penalty Kill % 80.1 14th 83.7 2nd
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 51.01 16th 61.55 1st
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 51.14 16th 60.82 1st
Game 81 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Category Player # Player #
Goals Tim Stützle 37 Sebastian Aho 35
Assists Tim Stützle 49 Brent Burns 43
Points Tim Stützle 86 Martin Necas 69
Shots Brady Tkachuk 336 Brent Burns 242
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot (inj.) 24:58 Brent Burns 23:12

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