The Ottawa Senators (27-40-6) recently completed a season series sweep of the Detroit Red Wings with a 4-1 victory. The score may have been inflated by a couple of Tim Stützle empty-net goals, but it was nevertheless the most impressive win of the three, as the Sens’ defense made things very easy for Anton Forsberg despite being without their two best defensemen in Thomas Chabot and Artem Zub.
Tonight, they’ll look to get a victory against a good hockey team for the first time in a while, as they pay a visit to the Boston Bruins (45-23-5), who, annoyingly, seem to keep getting better with age. Their top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak is still dominant, and they’ve got strong secondary scoring from the likes of Taylor Hall, Charlie Coyle, and Erik Haula.
Zub will return to the Ottawa lineup after battling a non-COVID illness, and Mathieu Joseph could be out tonight after taking a reverse hit from Moritz Seider on Tuesday against Detroit. Here’s how the team lined up during the morning skate:
Senators morning skate lines from Boston
(Joseph not on ice)
Tkachuk Norris Kelly
Formenton Stützle Batherson
Tierney White Brown
Gaudette Gambrell Watson
Del Zotto Harmonic
Forsberg- starters end.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) April 14, 2022
- With Joseph out, one may decide to bring Drake Batherson up to that top line, but against the Bruins, a one-line team (as shown in the first round of the playoffs multiple times) has no chance of winning. Keeping the two pairs of Tkachuk-Norris and Stützle-Batherson will give the team a sliver of hope tonight.
- Parker Kelly is an interesting choice on that top line. We’ve seen a rotation of wingers with Tkachuk and Norris this season — Batherson, Joseph, and Brown all have had success, while Zach Sanford and Tyler Ennis struggled. With the obvious makeup of a prototypical fourth-line forward, Kelly is more likely to fall into the latter category, but we’ve seen bottom-six players become something more thanks to an increased opportunity in the form of quality linemates.
- As for Austin Watson, he’s remained on the fourth line for the entire season, but he’s been on a heater as of late, with an impressive 5 goals and 1 assist in his last 7 games — that’s half of the 12 points he’s tallied in 58 games. It shows the value that a productive fourth line can have, as a lack of secondary scoring has led to several losses earlier in the year. Conversely, Watson has points in 5 of Ottawa’s last 10 games, and they won 4 of them.
- Tonight’s game will begin at 7:00 PM EST, and you can catch the action on TSN5, RDS, and TSN 1200.
- Stats are derived from NHL.com, except for Corsi and Expected Goals (adjusted for score effects and home-ice advantage) from NaturalStatTrick.com.
|Power play %||19.4||22nd||22.3||11th|
|Penalty kill %||79.9||15th||82.5||8th|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||48.03||21st||55.11||4th|
|xGF% (5v5 SVA)||47.24||23rd||57.59||1st|
|goals||Josh Norris||32||David Pastrnak||38|
|Assists||Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle||30||Charlie McAvoy||44|
|Points||Brady Tkachuk||56||Brad Merchant||73|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||237||David Pastrnak||304|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||26:23||Charlie McAvoy||24:44|