Week Ahead: Mar 22 to 28

Don't worry, it's almost over

Another four game week for the Sens.

Senators at Stars

Game 70, Saturday, March 22nd, 3pm
Sportsnet East
Previous game
@Flyers, Tuesday, March 20th
Next game
Jets, Monday, March 24th
Tyler Seguin - 14P (6G, 8A) in last 7 GP
Sergei Gonchar - 0P in last 5 GP

Dallas enters the week as the first team out in the West, four points out of the playoffs. They're going to be hungry for a win to stay in the hunt.

Past the top two of Seguin and Jamie Benn, the scoring drops off drastically - Seguin is at over a point per game, Benn just under a point per game, then it drops to Alex Goligoski at under half a point per game. Containing Seguin and Benn won't guarantee you a win, but it certainly will go a long way.

Trade deadline acquisition Tim Thomas has had a mostly rocky run in Dallas so far. Officially he's 2-2-1, but the first win was only a 13 minute effort from him. Overall with the Stars he's got a .884 SV% and a 3.55 GAA.

Special teams haven't been great for the Stars this year, with both the power play and penalty kill ranking in the bottom 3rd of the league. But at 5 on 5 they play a top 10 possession game.

Senators at Lightning

Game 71, Monday, March 24th, 7:30pm
Sportsnet East
Previous game
@Penguins, Saturday, March 22nd
Next game
Islanders, Thursday, March 27th
Valtteri Filppula - 11P (3G, 8A) in last 7 GP
Richard Panik - 0P in last 14 GP

It feels like we've seen this team recently...

Oh yeah.

It was actually Ottawa's closest game last week, so maybe...?

Senators at Panthers

Game 72, Tuesday, March 25th, 7:30pm
Sportsnet East
Previous game
@Ducks, Sunday, March 23rd
Next game
Hurricanes, Thursday, March 27th
Roberto Luongo - .926 SV% since traded
Tomas Fleischmann - 0P in last 4 GP

Roberto Luongo has played well since the trade, but it hasn't really been enough to lift Florida's fortunes and the team has been .500 in front of him. That is an improvement on their overall record, so if anything they're playing their way to a lower draft pick.

Lu might have solved the goals against problem, but they've also got a goals for problem. Brad Boyes, who leads the team in goals and is second in points has less than half a point per game. Scottie Upshall leads the team in points and is above half a point per game, but barely. Their offensive woes have lessened somewhat recently, but their 2.7 goals for per game in the last 10 games would still rank them in the bottom half of the league if it were their full season numbers.

The Panthers are dead last in the league for both power play and penalty kill, so saying that special teams have been a problem for them is an understatement. Somewhat surprising for a team in their position in the standings they've been a positive possession team at 5 on 5, though not at 5 on 5 close.

Blackhawks at Senators

Game 73, Friday, March 28th, 7:30pm
Sportsnet East
Previous game
@Bruins, Thursday, March 27th
Next game
@Penguins, Sunday, March 30th
Patrick Sharp - 4P (4A) in last 3 GP
Marian Hossa - 0P in last 2 GP

It's a comment on the Blackhawks that a player on a two game scoring drought counts as being "cold" for them.

Their top three of Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have combined for a whopping 204 points, and they're spread across two lines on most nights.

Corey Crawford has been having a fantastic run lately, posting a .936 SV% and a 1.56 GAA since the Olympic break. With the back to back situation though, we might get Antti Raanta instead. Raanta has put up respectable numbers this season - .905 SV% and 2.45 GAA.

Despite the goaltending of Crawford and the relatively consistent scoring, they've gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, putting them four points behind St. Louis for the Division, Conference and League lead. It could easily go down to the wire for them, so they'll definitely have something to play for on Friday.

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