Game Notes: Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators
Photo credit:© Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis7 months ago
Another day, another non-playoff team, as the Edmonton Oilers go up against the Senators in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.
1. The Oilers dropped a frustrating game to the Flyers on Thursday, losing 2-1 in the shootout. Since they picked up a loser point, Edmonton’s streak of consecutive games without a loss in regulation extended to 10. The last time the Oilers lost in regulation came back on January 9 in Los Angeles.
2. Ottawa is the fifth of eight consecutive opponents for the Oilers who aren’t in a playoff spot, but, as Edmonton learned with the Flyers and the Blue Jackets, there’s no such thing as an automatic win in the NHL. The Sens are well out of a playoff spot as things stand right now but they were rolling before the All-Star break, having won four games in a row to bring them to 24-23-3 on the season.
3. Ottawa is still a much better team now than they were a few years ago when they were the punching bag of the All-Canadian Division. The Oilers swept their season series with the Sens in 2021, winning all nine of the meetings that they played. Edmonton also put up a handful of lopsided wins over Ottawa that season, ultimately outscoring them 41-to-18 all told.
4. The Sens made a significant push this off-season to make their team competitive. They traded their first-round pick to acquire Alex DeBrincat from the Blackhawks and they signed veteran Claude Giroux in free agency. Somewhat surprisingly, their biggest issue has been scoring goals, as the Sens rank 24th in the league in goals scored. Last season they ranked 26th, so you’d have expected a bigger jump based on the additions that they made.
5. Losing Josh Norris to injury for essentially all of the season has been a significant blow to Ottawa’s offence. Norris injured his shoulder a few games into the season, came back in January for a few games, and ultimately got shut down for surgery. Norris scored 35 goals and 55 points in 65 games last season and the Sens haven’t been able to find somebody to replace him on the team’s second forward line with DeBrincat and Giroux on the wings.
6. Another significant injury the Sens are dealing with right now is Artem Zub being out with a lower-body injury. Zub is Ottawa’s best shutdown defender and he usually plays on the team’s top defensive pairing alongside Thomas Chabot. He’s only played in 21 games this season but Zub is the only Ottawa defenceman who doesn’t have a minus rating.
7. The Senators’ goaltending tandem features a pair of former Oilers, Cam Talbot and Anton Forsberg. The Sens acquired Talbot in the summer as a salary cap dump from the Minnesota Wild after they had re-signed Marc-Andre Fleury and Ottawa grabbed Forsberg off of waivers from the Oilers right at the start of the 2021 season and re-signed him after a strong performance. Both Talbot and Forsberg have identical .905 save percentages this season.
8. Connor McDavid has been a little quiet coming out of the All-Star break with just two assists in Edmonton’s games against Detroit and Ottawa. The Sens are one of McDavid’s favourite opponents, as he’s scored 34 points against them in 20 career games. The Canucks, Flames, Jets, and Ducks are the only teams ahead of Ottawa on that list.
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