The Ottawa Senators will be playing their second game in two straight afternoons as they visit the Anaheim Ducks today at the Honda Center. The Senators are coming into this game following a loss to the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Saturday, a game in which they were unable to convert on a dominant second period and were victimized by a clock malfunction. Twenty-four hours later, they hope to be able to quickly put that game behind them and make up for that game with a win against the Ducks.
Things will not be any easier, however, as the Ducks have earned 11 out of a possible 14 points in their last seven games. The Ducks are another team, like the Kings, who have elite top-two centres in Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. It will be interesting to see how Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle matches up his two centres against Kyle Turris and Derrick Brassard. The Senators will look to keep this game close and stick to their game plan by playing a tight-checking game and limiting Anaheim’s space on the ice.
Ottawa Senators at Anaheim Ducks
Honda Center – 4 p.m. PST
Broadcast channels – PRIME, TSN5
2016-17 Season Series: first match up of the season
Ottawa Senators – 16-10-2 – 34 Points
Second place in the Atlantic Division
Road Record: 7-5-0
Hot Players: Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Erik Karlsson
Key Absences: Craig Anderson (leave of absence), Clarke MaCarthur (concussion), Curtis Lazar (concussion)
Mike Hoffman – Derick Brassard – Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel – Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan
Zack Smith – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Tom Pyatt
Phil Varone – Chris Kelly – Chris Neil
Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf – Cody Ceci
Andreas Englund – Chris Wideman
Anaheim Ducks – 14-9-5 – 33 Points
Third place in the Pacific Division
Home Record: 9-4-1
Hot Players: Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, Rickard Rakell
Key Absences: Nate Thompson (achilles), Simon Despres (concussion symptoms), Clayton Stoner (lower body)
Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie – Antoine Vermette – Ondrej Kase
Joseph Cramarossa – Stefan Noesen – Logan Shaw
Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Kevin Bieksa – Shea Theodore
1) For the first time, the Senators will be playing an Anaheim team that will dress all three players it received as a result of the Bobby Ryan trade. Jakob Silverberg, Nick Ritchie and Stefan Noesen will all be playing, and each team will try to show which side won the trade.
2) Defenceman Mark Borowiecki received a two-game suspension due to his boarding hit on behind on Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli. Andreas Englund draws in, he who played Ottawa’s three games prior to their visit in LA on Saturday. He will likely pair up with Chris Wideman on the third pairing.
3) It was one of Condon’s poorer performances this season, but head coach Guy Boucher will go with him once again. As it is the second game is as many days, it would be ideal for him to go with a different goalie in order to have a fresh presence in net. However, Andrew Hammond has not played an NHL game since October 28 due to suffering a lower-body injury. Surpassed by Condon, Hammond cleared waivers as the Senators sent him down to Binghamton in the AHL after he refused to go for a conditioning stint. It would be completely understandable if the Ottawa coaching staff has little faith in him.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 11, 2016
4) Another lineup change has forward Phil Varone replacing Buddy Robinson on the fourth-line wing. Varone has not played in the NHL since October 22, just playing three games so far this season. He has 13 points in 18 games with the Binghamton Senators so far this season.
5) Prior to yesterday’s loss, the Senators have not been limiting to a single goal since November 19. They will look to chip the puck behind Anaheim’s defence and grind their way to the front of the net to score dirty goals against John Gibson. Hoffman and Stone will look to find each other through open seems and get their opportunities in high-percentage scoring areas.
The Senators are 2-0-1 on Sundays so far this season whereas the Ducks are 2-2-1, including an 8-3 loss to the Calgary Flames just last week. Ottawa will need to find a way to capitalize on a strong second period, something they were unable to do yesterday. The Ducks are fifth in the league in second-period goals but are also third-last in goals against in the middle period. If the game is tied or the Senators are trailing after two periods, they will be hard pressed to take the advantage over a team that allows the fewest goals against in the third period.