Even for those of us who have followed the Ottawa Senators for decades, it seems difficult to to think of too many days with as many bummer headlines as we had on Thursday and Friday. The Sens will have to play out the remainder of 2023 largely without Shane Pinto and Thomas Chabot. And we have no idea when we can expect the returns of Artem Zub and Erik Brännström--not great news for a team on a three-game losing streak! And now we face the sacrilegious reality of playing against Erik Karlsson as a member of one of the teams we hate the most. Strap in for the feel-good victory of the year or the most crushing defeat since two days ago.
- Pittsburgh has a couple of injuries of their own in John Ludvig and Alex Nedeljkovic. Old friend Magnus Hellberg has taken over as the back-up in the interim.
- Through seven games, these two teams have identical records and you could argue that both teams have slightly underperformed when stacking the results against their nerd stats.
- Both teams have good powerplays but the Penguins have had no luck in that department. They will break out eventually so maybe don't take bad penalties.
- Both teams do a good job of limiting chances on the penalty kill but the Sens have gotten very little in the way of PK goaltending.
- Both teams generate a lot of offence at five-on-five and both teams would probably prefer to concede less as five-on-five.
- In terms of five-on-five results, Ottawa's higher shooting percentage and Pittsburgh's better goaltending wash out the numbers. To Ottawa's credit, the Sens draw a lot of penalties but that might not amount to much against a veteran team like the Penguins.
- Also of note, Pittsburgh has better numbers pretty much across the board compared to the Islanders who just beat Ottawa--except the Penguins don't have Ilya Sorokin. Either the Sens eke out a moral victory or get stomped 7-1 as far as I can tell.
- The Sens have called up Tyler Kleven and Nikolas Matinpalo. The latter will make his NHL debut--no pressure!
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Lines from Last Game
Kubalik - Stützle - Giroux
Joseph - Greig - Tarasenko
Kelly - Chartier - Kastelic
Sanderson - Chabot
Chychrun - Hamonic
Brännström - Bernard-Docker
Smith - Malkin - Rakell
O'Connor - Eller - Zohorna
Nieto - Acciari - Carter
Pettersson - Karlsson
Graves - Letang
Shea - Ruhwedel