Blues Gameday Preview: Ottawa Senators – 2/15/2022

The St. Louis Blues are hitting the road for game one of their four-game road trip. First up, the Ottawa Senators. The two teams have yet to play each other this season as St. Louis looks to continue their momentum after a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Senators have struggled on home ice with a 9-13-1 record, while the Blues are 9-8-3 on the road. The team has only played two games this month and is still looking to reignite a struggling power play that has converted one of seven opportunities in those two games. 

BLUES (27-14-5).641 (10th)3.48 (6th) 2.76 (11th)27.7 (2nd)84.2 (4TH)
SENATORS (17-24-4).422 (26th)2.69 (23rd)3.20 (23rd)16.7 (26th)81.0 (13th)

2 Storylines: Blues (27-14-5)

Blues’ Logan Brown Returning to Ottawa

Son of former Blues defenseman Jeff Brown, Logan Brown is headed to Ottawa to face his former team in a non-conference game tonight. This marks his first return to the city that drafted him after being selected 11th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Logan Brown St. Louis Blues
Logan Brown, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, Brown’s pre-draft hype and high draft selection never provided the Senators with much of a result. Appearing in his first season as a 19-year-old, he appeared in four games and only registered one assist. Over the next four seasons, he appeared in 26 more games, totaling one goal and seven assists, while scoring 23 goals and 56 points over 94 games in the AHL for the Belleville Senators.

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Brown was traded to the Blues on Sept. 25, 2021, for Zach Sanford and a conditional 2022 fourth-round draft pick. He was then assigned to the Springfield Thunderbirds to continue to work on his development. This season, he has six goals and 17 points in 19 games in the AHL, with an additional three goals and six points over 17 games with the Blues. Brown recently signed a one-year extension with the organization worth $750,000.

Blues Searching For Consistency

Over the club’s last five games, inconsistency has plagued the team. With a 3-3-0 record since their Jan. 24 blowout loss to the Calgary Flames that saw seven goals scored on the team, the Blues are either at or below average in nearly every single category.

3-3-0.500 (T-19th)3.48 (6th) 3.17 (12th)19.1 (19th)81.0 (15th)
St. Louis Blues statistics and rankings since January 24, 2022

With their goaltending controversy and a defensive unit that’s treading water, the Blues cannot afford to make mistakes against the NHL’s lower-ranked squads. The depth on the blue line looks ready to play against the Senators, as Scott Perunovich is nearing a return while veteran Marco Scandella is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Perunovich, who is on long-term injured reserve and eligible to return against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, is not on the road trip, while Scandella is currently on the trip and could return to action before the team returns home.

2 Storylines: Senators (17-24-4)

Senators Snap Scoreless Streak

After suffering back-to-back shutouts against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, the Senators made a statement with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday. The victory not only helped take the team out of their scoreless funk but provided them with their first victory against the Capitals in 10 games and ended a nine-game losing streak in Washington.

Related: Ottawa Senators’ Top 3 Players Through Midway Point of 2021-21

“Everybody stepped up. Everybody elevated their game,” captain Brady Tkachuk said. “Obviously, we weren’t happy with bits and pieces of our last two games.” The Senators will look to elevate their game to the next level when they take on the NHL’s second-best penalty kill while attempting to score their first power-play goal of February.

Scrappy Sens Still Fighting

Despite missing two of their top offensive players in Josh Norris and Drake Batherson, the Senators continue to claw, scrape and show resilience against their opponents each night. The continued buy-in to the system and the dedication have helped the team continue to be something fans tune in to watch.

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“I can only speak for myself, but in this league, it’s not easy to play five-in-seven,” Connor Brown said. “Especially teams like Boston and Pittsburgh, Washington – these teams do it right, they play at a high pace, and they don’t make it easy on you. They make you win every battle. You can’t hide out there. There’s not floating around. The boys battled this week.”

The forwards are not the only ones buying in and showing resilience during this stretch. Tonight’s matchup will mark the clubs’ sixth game in nine days, and they will need all hands on deck to pull out a victory. Despite what the win-loss statistics read, both goaltenders have been strong this month. Anton Forsberg has turned aside 101 of 109 shots in three games, good for a .927 save percentage and 2.67 goals-against average. His counterpart, Matt Murray, stopped 109 of 113 shots and a .965 save percentage and 1.37 goals-against average.

Players to Watch

St. Louis: Brayden Schenn- Riding a four-game point streak, Schenn has three goals and seven points in his last five games.

Senators: Alex Formenton – Since January 1, he is tied for the team lead in goals (5), and tied for the most points on the team (12).

Projected Line Combinations

St. Louis Blues

Left WingCenterRight Wing
Brayden SchennRyan O’ReillyJordan Kyrou
Pavel BuchnevichRobert ThomasVladimir Tarasenko
Brandon SaadIvan BarbashevDavid Perron
Klim KostinDakota JoshuaOskar Sundqvist
Left DefenseRight Defense
Niko MikkolaColton Parayko
Torey KrugJustin Faulk
Jake WalmanRobert Bortuzzo
Starting Goalie
Ville Husso

Ottawa Senators

Left WingCenterRight Wing
Brady TkachukNick PaulConnor Brown
Alex FormentionTim StützleAdam Gaudette
Parker KellyChris TierneyZach Sanford
Clark BishopDylan GambrellTyler Ennis
Left DefenseRight Defense
Victor MeteNikita Zaitsev
Nick HoldenArtem Zub
Erik BrannstromJosh Brown
Starting Goalie
Matt Murray

Blues’ Next Game: Thursday, Feb. 17 vs Montreal Canadiens (6 PM CST)