By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Following one of their best months to start a season in franchise history, the Boston Bruins are setting themselves up to start November off right against the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins have a 9-1-2 record in October, tied for the second-best start in the 95-year history of the organization. As of October 31st, the Bruins are second in the overall league standings, behind only the Washington Capitals – largely due to their four-game winning streak.
Undergoing a noticeable rebuild, the Ottawa Senators are not expected to be a good team in 2019-20 and after the first month of the season, they sit in the basement of the Atlantic Division with a record of 3-7-1. Heading into Saturday’s game against Boston, the Senators have come out victorious in two of their last three games with a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday being the most recent result.
BOS: Tuukka Rask 6-0-1 1.42 GAA .951 SV% Last Game: 16 Saves in 5-1 win vs SJS
OTT: Craig Anderson 2-4-0 2.80 GAA .909 SV% Last Game: 34 Saves in 5-2 win vs SJS
Bruins forward David Pastrnak is one of the hottest players in the National Hockey League right now averaging a goal-per-game with twelve goals in as many games. In addition, Pastrnak has twelve assists for twenty-four points on the year. The 23-year-old winger has scored a point in each of his last ten games including seven games with more than one point. Against the Sharks on Tuesday, Pastrnak buried the game’s opening goal on the power-play with a bomb from the face-off circle.
Surprisingly, former Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Connor Brown, is having himself a great first season with the Senators since joining the team as apart of the trade that sent Cody Ceci to Toronto. In eleven games thus far, Brown has one goal and nine assists for ten points – good enough for the team-lead in assists and points. To go along with that, the 156th-overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has points in each of his last four games including a two-point night in the win over San Jose.
Typically when one player on a team has 24 points in the first 12 games, he has another teammate that is not too far behind doing the scoring and for the Boston Bruins, that is exactly the case with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. While Pastrnak has the 12-12-24 numbers, Marchand has 7-14-21 numbers during his 11-game point streak to begin the ’19/’20 campaign and he is showing no signs of slowing down. The 31-year-old tallied one assist and five shots on goal in Tuesday’s game versus the Sharks.
Since the 2013-14 regular season, forward Bobby Ryan has been one of the most recognizable players on the Ottawa Senators, even though he started his NHL career with the Anaheim Ducks. Through these tough times in Canada’s capital, Ryan has remained on the team, however, with only 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in ten games, that time could be coming to an end. On Sunday, Ryan was made a healthy scratch by Head Coach D.J. Smith and there are now rumors circulating about a potential move from Ottawa. Whether or not he plays on Saturday is still up in the air, but if he does, the Senators will expect a lot from the 32-year-old.
If there was a game for Jake DeBrusk to break out for the Bruins, it would be on Saturday. The 6-foot, 188-pound, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada native has only one goal and three assists on the entire season so far and he has not been his usual goal-scoring self. It is fair to note that DeBrusk has been a hard-worker on the power-play, but his depth scoring at 5-on-5 is needed as we head further into the regular season. With Krejci back in the lineup for the second-consecutive game, now is the time to start tallying those goals again.
If Craig Anderson does indeed get the start in between the pipes for Ottawa against the Bruins, it will be the seventh time that he gets that call this season. So far in 2019-2020, the 38-year-old netminder has a record of 2-4-0 with a goals-against-average of 2.80 and a save percentage of .909%. Anderson did, however, make 34 saves on 36 shots in the 5-2 victory over San Jose, but before that, he allowed four goals on 22 shots in his last start against the Arizona Coyotes back on October 19th.
- F Patrice Bergeron is one assist away (499) from 500 career NHL assists
- D Torey Krug is three points away (297) from 300 career NHL points
- There are no notable milestones that can be reached for Ottawa in Saturday’s game versus the Boston Bruins.
Bruins vs Senators Outlook:
Being in the same division, the Bruins and the Senators lock horns four times a year during the 82-game regular season. In 2018-19, the Bruins won all four games over the Sens, taking wins by scores of 6-3, 4-1, 2-1 OT, and 3-2. Boston averaged 3.75 goals-for-per-game in the four meetings while only allowing an average of 1.75 goals-against-per-game.
Saturday’s game is the second-straight game at home for the Bruins, who have a 5-0-1 record in the TD Garden this year. Their only defeat at home was a 4-3 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on October 17th. Ottawa, on the other hand, is 0-3-1 on the road and they have not shown any signs that they can erase that zero off of that record.
Boston’s power-play will most likely be, once again, the biggest factor in the game. The Bruins have the best power-play percentage in the National Hockey League has of October 31st, scoring on 30.9% of their man-advantages. In turn, the Senators have 56 penalties this season – the 5th-most of any other team in the league. Ottawa also has an 81.6% success rate on the penalty kill, good for 14th in the NHL.
Flipping the roles around, the Senators have the worst power-play in the entire league according to NHL.com, ranking 31st with a power-play percentage of 5.4%. The Sens have only two goals on the power-play on 37 opportunities. Boston has been short-handed 51 times so far this season, 12th-most in the league, but have successfully killed off 83.8% of those penalties – ranking them in the top-ten.
Puck drop for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said that forward Brett Ritchie was given a maintenance day and believes that he will play Saturday, however, there was a “level of concern” with him missing practice.
Craig Anderson is getting the start for the Senators.