Bruins Game 31 Preview: Ottawa Senators

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Fred Chartrand | AP)


By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Even though the Bruins have lost two consecutive games, they are still one of the top teams in the NHL and tonight is a big night to get back on their winning ways against the Senators tonight. Boston remains second in the league standings with a record of 20-4-6, trailing the Capitals by three points. Boston lost in regulation for the first time at home on Saturday, a 4-1 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche.
The Ottawa Senators are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum with a record of 12-17-1 and 4-6-0 in their last ten games played. The Senators are 1-2-0 in the month of December including a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Ottawa currently sits as the fourth-worst team in the NHL, but have still improved on past expectations from the start of the season.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 13-2-3 2.14 GAA .929 SV% Last Game: 27 Saves in 4-3 OT loss vs CHI
OTT: Anders Nilsson 7-8-1 3.10 GAA .910 SV% Last Game: 13 Saves in 4-3 loss vs PHI*
*Replaced Craig Anderson in net who went down with a lower-body injury.

Who’s Hot:

Anthony Duclair has been throughout the league as someone who just cannot find a home, but with the Ottawa Senators, he has become a strong member of the roster. The 24-year-old forward has 13-6-9 numbers in 30 games this season, but has four points in his last three games including a two-goal performance against the Flyers on Saturday. Duclair has also seen a progressing increase in ice-time over these three games, reaching over twenty minutes against Philly.

Boston has not been excellent over the last two games, but somehow, Chris Wagner has found himself on the scoresheet in two consecutive games. With the top line of the Bruins failing to score recently, it has been nice to have some depth scoring from Wagner, who has 3-7-10 numbers this year so far.
Tyler Ennis was held pointless against the Flyers, but in the last three games, the 30-year-old forward has four points including a great 1-2-3 night against the Oilers on December 4th. Ennis has 8-7-15 numbers in 30 games this season – only three points shy of matching his total point production with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 51 games he played in 2018-19. Ennis has become an important role to the Senators’ offence and he will look to continue that effort tonight against Boston.

Who’s Not:

All superstars go through slumps and right now, Brad Marchand is in one of those slumps right now. The Bruins leading scorer has only one point in his last five games and has not scored a goal in six games, the last one coming against the Senators on November 27th. Marchand still has impressive 18-26-44 numbers in 30 games in 2019-20, but his production is going to be needed with some big conference games this week.
Chris Tierney did score two points against the Oilers, but has only those two points in the last five games and has 3-11-14 numbers in 30 games played. The 25-year-old played over fifteen minutes on Saturday, but finished the night with one shot and a -2 rating. Ottawa would like some additional production from the former San Jose Sharks forward tonight against the Bruins.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Charlie Coyle is one goal away (99) from 100 career NHL goals
  • F Jake DeBrusk is two points away (98) from 100 career NHL points

Ottawa Senators:

  • D Ron Hainsey is playing in his 1,099th career NHL game
  • F Jean-Gabriel Pageau is playing in his 399th career NHL game
  • F Vladislav Namestnikov is one assist away (99) from 100 career NHL assists
  • D Thomas Chabot is two points away (98) from 100 career NHL points

Bruins vs Senators Outlook:

Boston and Ottawa have already played two of the four scheduled meetings between one another, with the Bruins winning both of them by scores of 5-2 and 2-1 in November. Following tonight’s contest, the Bruins and Senators will meet again near the conclusion of the regular-season on March 26th.

Boston has fallen a tad on the special teams, falling below 30% on the power-play, but still holds the third-best man-advantage in the NHL. The Bruins have an 84.4% success rate on the penalty-kill as well. For Ottawa, they have the worst power-play percentage in the league at 9.6%, but has the 12th-best penalty-kill percentage at 82.6%.

Bruins Lineup News:

Patrice Bergeron’s seven-game absence is over, bringing back the first-line of Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak after a few games of players being tossed throughout the lineup. Puck drop for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7:30pm EST from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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