The Ottawa Senators will remain in the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday night to take on the Calgary Flames for the fifth time this season. These two franchises just met back on Thursday in Calgary where the Flames dominated and picked up a 7-3 victory. The Ottawa Senators (8-17-1, 17 points) are last in the North Division and are coming off Thursday’s game. The Calgary Flames (11-11-2, 24 points) are fifth in the North Division and are going to be in the second half of a back-to-back as they are in Edmonton playing the Oilers on Saturday night.
These two teams have been struggling so far this season and need to figure something out if they want to compete with the likes of Toronto or Winnipeg. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers.
Johnny HockeyThe Ottawa Senators have been awful in the early stages of this season but right winger Drake Batherson has played well. The Senators have three players listed on the injury report so they will be making some line shifts for this game. The 2017 fourth-round pick is leading the team in both points and goals as he has 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) this season and has recorded six points in his last five games played. In his last game against the Calgary Flames, he finished without scoring a point and attempted one shot on goal in 17:55 on the ice. Gaudreau has shown the ability to score the puck and it should be easier to score against this Calgary defense.
Matt Murray has been the goalie for the Ottawa Senators throughout most of the season thus far and is coming off one of his worst games of the season. Going up against the Calgary Flames, he finished allowing four goals on 11 shots before being pulled after the first period. This game dropped his record to 6-11-1 this year. As a team, they have allowed 102 total goals, which is last in the NHL. The Senators are below league-average against power plays as they have allowed 21 power play goals in 80 opportunities (73.75 percent kill). If they can be good and not allow power plays, they should be able to bounce back.
Johnny HockeyCalgary has been starting to bounce back after struggling in the early stages of this season but left winger Johnny Gaudreau has played well. The Flames have a clean injury report so they should be at full strength for this game. The 2011 fourth round pick is leading the team in both points and goals as he has 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) this season and has recorded three points in his last three games played. In his last game against the Ottawa Senators, he finished with an assist and did not attempt a shot on goal without putting one through the net in 15:34 on the ice. Gaudreau has shown the ability to score the puck and it should be easier to score against this Ottawa defense.
Jacob Markstrom has been the goalie for the Calgary Flames throughout most of the season thus far but backup goalie David Rittich had been playing the past few weeks. Going up against the Ottawa Senators, he finished allowing three goals on 32 shots in a win to raise his record to 3-5-1 this year. As a team, they have allowed 73 total goals, which is 21st in the NHL. The Flames are league-average against power plays as they have allowed 18 power play goals in 85 opportunities (78.82 percent kill). If they can be good and not allow power plays, they should be able to bounce back.
- Calgary: Flames are 5-1 in their last 6 games as a home favorite.
- Ottawa: 14-52 in their last 66 road games
- Ottawa: 9-29 in their last 38 games vs a team with a losing record