Boston Bruins ( 12-5-1)
Ottawa Senators (7-7-4)
Canadian Tire Centre: 7:30 PM EST
Tonight, the Senators face a vaunted Bruins team that they simply have not had much success against. Despite their poor track record, having spent the duration of practice working on their breakout, the Sens seem to be more concerned with not beating themselves.
Having been outshot in 14 of their 18 games, Ottawa’s grown accustomed to being hemmed into their own zone. It’s quite the change of pace from previous years. Last season for example, the Senators were involved in eight games in which they were outshot by 10 or more shots. In their first 18 games, they’ve already been outshot by 10 or more shots five times. From a glass half-full perspective, the Senators are tied for 9th in the NHL in even-strength goal differential, so if Paul MacLean and the players can sort out their defensive zone issues, they’ll be in a great position.
Although Ottawa’s been plagued with some incredibly inconsistent play, much of the focus has centered on who will be in nets.
Despite earning the NHL’s First Star of the Week award for posting a 3-0-0 record last week, Paul MacLean opted to go with Craig Anderson to face Philadelphia instead of the bane of Keshia Chante’s existence (aka Robin Lehner).
In Andy’s first game back since sustaining a neck injury during the Sunday, November 3rd game versus Dallas, he didn’t get much support from his teammates – suffering a 5-0 loss.
So, while no one has not been formally announced as the starting goaltender, but should the Senators lose, you can rest assured that fans will second guess the decision.
Interesting Stat #1:
Whenever it came to playing the Boston Bruins, everyone usually pointed out how much success Tim Thomas had playing Ottawa. His reputation as a Sens killer was unparalleled, compiling a 23-8-2 record (.727 win %), a 1.95 goals against average and a .938 save percentage.
Interestingly, recent history shows that this success is probably more of a Boston thing than it is a Tim Thomas thing. Since the 2009/10 season, only two other Bruins not named Tim Thomas have faced the Senators – Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin.
Here’s a peak at their numbers versus Ottawa:
Interesting Stat #2:
Ottawa has won 2 of their past 15 games against the Bruins for a record of 2-11-2. During this stretch of games, the Senators have been outscored 47-26 and their power play has operated at a meagre 7.9 percent success rate (3 for 38). Robin Lehner was in nets for both of Ottawa’s wins.
Interesting Stat #3:
In the organization’s modern history, only two players have played in 10 or more games for the Senators versus the Bruins and have averaged a point-per-game– Martin Havlat (9 G, 24 Pts in 22 GP) and Dany Heatley (14 G, 32 Pts in 29 GP).
Interesting Stat #4:
Ottawa has the worst Power Play Opportunity Differential in the NHL with a -28. Three teams (Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto) are tied for having the second worst differential with -10.