The post-Dorion era got off to a fittingly sombre start on Thursday night with Joonas Korpisalo bailing out a largely listless performance from the rest of the Ottawa Senators to spare us from a lopsided loss at home in what feels like another sluggish autumn for DJ Smith and friends. Oh, and the injuries continued to pile up just for good measure with Ridly Greig and Mark Kastelic joining the list of walking wounded. You could say that a win over a division rival could really benefit morale around these parts right about now.
- Tampa has gotten admirable goaltending from Jonas Johansson in Vasilevskiy’s extended absence while Joonas Korpisalo, as noted, has trended in the right direction for the Sens while Anton Forsberg still needs a chance to straighten out his numbers after that ugly performance against Buffalo last week.
- With the aforementioned injuries to Greig and Kastelic, the Sens recalled Zack MacEwen and Roby Jarventie from the AHL. Jarventie will be making his NHL regular season debut, and attempting to build on what was a very strong training camp and pre-season
- For what it’s worth, both Ottawa and Tampa have four wins through their first nine and ten games respectively.
- Ottawa has a strong powerplay and spends a lot of time with the advantage but Tampa’s powerplay naturally ranks among the best in the league so as always, don’t make too many trips to the proverbial well.
- As hard as it sounds to believe, Ottawa’s penalty kill has actually done well (and better than Tampa) in terms of limiting chances on the penalty kill but the Sens have had basically no goaltending luck while the Lightning have gotten very good shorthanded goaltending so far.
- In terms of five-on-five offence, the Sens actually produce a bit more than Tampa while both teams have fallen on hard times in the five-on-five defence department (Ottawa’s laundry list of injuries immediately comes to mind) so basically if the Sens avoid the penalty box and get some regression from Tampa’s goaltenders then this might turn out okay.
- And while you probably want a better plan than hoping that Korpisalo and Forsberg can steal some wins until the defence gets healthy, Ottawa may not have a lot of other options right now.
- Ottawa Injuries: Erik Brännström, Thomas Chabot, Ridley Greig, Mark Kastelic, Shane Pinto*, Artem Zub
- Tampa Bay injuries: Logan Brown, Tyler Motte, Andrei Vasilevskiy
Where to watch/listen: SN1, TSN1200 @ 7PM EST
Kubalik - Norris - Tarasenko
Batherson - Jarventie - Giroux
Kelly - Chartier - MacEwen
Sanderson - Hamonic
Chychrun - Bernard-Docker
Kleven - Matinpalo
Tampa Bay Lightning
Stamkos - Paul - Sheary
Barre Boulet - Cirelli - Kucherov
Jeannot - Glendening - Watson
Hedman - Cernak
Sergachev - Raddysh
de Haan - Perbix