Saturday afternoon's match-up will close out the Flames' three-game all-Canadian road swing and send them into their bye-week and the NHL All-Star break. After a disappointing loss in Montreal on Monday, Calgary rebounded with a 2-1 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Derek Ryan scored in regulation, Matthew Tkachuk netted the only goal in the shootout, and David Rittich, who was named an NHL All-Star earlier this week, made 35 stops in the victory.
"That was a great game, not too many goals, but both teams had a lot of chances to score, and I would say (Frederik) Andersen was really good too," Rittich said afterwards. "It was great to shut them down offensively, that's why we came here. … I'm kind of tired right now. I can't wait to get to the airplane. They've got five or six guys who can score anytime when they get the puck, so it wasn't easy."
Rittich made multiple highlight-reel stops in the win, shutting down the likes of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen, and Andreas Johnsson.
"You want to reward him; you want to do everything in your power to win the game for him," Tkachuk said on Thursday night. "He was our best player tonight easily, and for us to reward him, that was definitely on my mind, and I know it was on the rest of the guys' minds. We had to play solid in front of him to get it to OT, we had a lot of looks, way more looks than they did in OT, which is hard to do against all their offensive stars but we can play with anybody I think. We were committed defensively tonight, and Rittich was definitely fantastic."
The Senators have struggled as of late, going winless in their last nine with a record of 0-5-4, and will be pressing to pick up a win before they head into their bye-week. They are coming off of a 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, an outing which saw the Knights score just 34 seconds into the game.
"They took it to us in the first 10 (minutes)," defenceman Ron Hainsey told NHL.com."And we talked about it, but we just weren't able to make any plays to get anything going up the ice in those first 10. And we were really on our heels after that."
Vladislav Namestnikov and Connor Brown scored and Craig Anderson made 39 saves in the loss.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who is second in team scoring with 19 goals and 31 points, was a late scratch on Thursday due to an upper-body injury. His status for Saturday has yet to be determined.
Ottawa has struggled offensively as of late, scoring two or fewer goals in their last fives games. They sit 26th among all teams with 125 goals this season. Leading scorer Anthony Duclair has been held off the scoresheet since Jan. 2, when he had an assist against Florida.
Saturday's tilt will be the second and final meeting between the Flames and Senators this season. Calgary picked up a 3-1 win over Ottawa at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Nov. 30, with Elias Lindholm scoring twice and David Rittich making 26 saves.
"I think everyone's been through a lot emotionally here lately," Milan Lucicsaid afterwards. "When you're on the ice, it's like Happy Gilmore, happy place type of thing. You're not really thinking about anything other than when you were a kid playing the game of hockey. When you work hard, and you get the result, there's no better feeling."
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the Senators lone goal.
THIS: Since November 27th, the Flames have the NHL's best road record at 8-2-0 - a points percentage of .800. This is mainly due to the Flames allowing the fewest goals on the road in the NHL over that span, only allowing 21 goals in their last 10 road games.… THAT: The Flames come into this game winning six of their last seven games and have posted a 6-1-0 record since January 1st. Calgary has won four consecutive games against the Senators and have won six of the last seven meetings dating back to October 28, 2016. … THE OTHER:Sean Monahan notched an assist on Saturday and has now passed Paul Reinhart (398 points) for the 14th most points in Calgary Flames franchise history at 399. Monahan needs just one point to become the 14th player in Calgary history to reach 400 career points as a member of the Flames.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Flames - Matthew Tkachuk
The winger scored the game-winning goal in the shootout in Toronto on Thursday night and continues to lead the Flames in scoring with 38 points on the year. In his 17:11 of ice time against the Leafs, he put two shots on net and threw two hits.
In his last five outings, he has two points and has put 10 shots on net.
The talented Russian winger is coming off a strong game against the Vegas Golden Knights, scoring a goal and putting five shots on net in the Senators loss. The 27-year-old, who was acquired by Ottawa in October from the New York Rangers, has nine goals and 19 points through his 42 games played this year.