Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators Preview and Game Day Thread
Lightning will need a 60-minute effort to snap losing streak
Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators: GAME #73
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Canadian Tire Centre
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, TSN5, RDS2, ESPN+, Hulu
Opponent SBNation Site: Silver Seven
Let’s start with the positive. For the first time in more than a week, we’re not going to see the Devils or the Canadiens on the other side of the ice tonight. It’ll be nice to see a different team out there playing against the Lightning. It’s been a hot minute since the Lightning have played the Senators. The last time these two teams met was way back on November 1st, a 4-3 win for the Lightning where they turned a 2-1 deficit after two periods into a victory.
The Senators have been playing some close hockey games of late with their last four games being decided by just one goal with Ottawa going 1-2-1 against Colorado, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Boston. They’re in a pretty tough stretch of games as they Tampa Bay tonight followed by the Devils and then the Panthers. That’s some high competition for a young team that isn’t quite eliminated from the playoffs yet, but is starting to fade out of contention.
Goaltending has been an issue for them as they’ve seen both Cam Talbot and Anton Forsberg spend time on the injured list. The current duo consists of rookies Mads Sogaard and Dylan Ferguson. Ferguson made his first career start earlier in the week and picked up the win with a 48-save performance against the Penguins. If the name sounds kind of familiar, Ferguson made a minor splash back in 2017 when he was an emergency call-up from junior hockey for the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural year when they went through a ton of goaltenders. Ferguson served as the back-up for Max Lagace in a game and saw nine minutes of action.
He is dealing with a non-Covid illness so it’s possible that Sogaard gets the call against the Bolts tonight. Ottawa did recall Kevin Mandolese for their last game with Ferguson out of the line-up. It’s been a tough season for the Senators in net as they’ve had six different goaltenders win a game for them.
With their struggles, it was a bit of a surprise that they landed one of the bigger fishes at the trade deadline when they sent some draft picks to Arizona for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. In a move that indicated they were done rebuilding and ready to start competing with the Atlantic’s big guns, bringing in the 25-year-old defenseman without sacrificing any of the their prospects. They are assembling a really interesting and young roster up there.
As for the Lightning, it seems like they’ve been in this position for most of the season. Unable to string more than a couple of consistent performances together has left them seemingly below the standards they’ve set for themselves. They just haven’t put 60-minute efforts together all that often over the last month or so. Coach Cooper doesn’t seem to concerned about things and reiterated his faith in his team after practice yesterday (one of the few practices they’ve had over the last month due to the busy schedule).
He trusts their ability to motivate themselves and prepare for the upcoming postseason. While some of the Stanley Cup pieces have left the team, the core has been through these dog days before and been able to turn it on for the playoffs. Still, with just 10 regular season games to go time is getting short to clean up the mistakes they’ve been making a bit too often this year.
Lightning at Senators Comparison
|Game #73||Tampa Bay Lightning||Ottawa Senators|
Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines
Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Steven Stamkos - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Ross Colton - Nick Paul - Pat Maroon
Tanner Jeannot - Michael Eyssimont - Corey Perry
Victor Hedman - Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev - Darren Raddysh
Ian Cole - Erik Cernak
Lines based on Wednesday afternoon practice per Gabby Shirley.
Ottawa Senators Potential Lines
Brady Tkachuk - Tim Stutzle - Drake Batherson
Alex DeBrincat - Ridley Greig - Claude Grioux
Derick Brassard - Shane Pinto - Julien Gauthier
Connor Brown - Dylan Gambrell - Austin Watson
Jake Sanderson - Artem Zub
Jakob Chychrun - Travis Harmonic
Thomas Chabot - Erik Brannstrom
Lines based on previous game.