We take a look at Ryan and Duchene's recent chemistry, some random numbers and facts and more before puck drop against the Panthers.
1. Ryan and Duchene clicking
It may have taken a little longer than expected but Bobby Ryan and Matt Duchene have developed some really good chemistry over the past few games.
"I think we're starting to see what we wanted to see months ago," said Ryan following Tuesday's game. "Whether it was me coming back too early and never really hitting our stride together...we just seemed to not click. Sometimes it's just reps and time and we're starting to see that a little bit."
The pair each had 3-point nights against the Islanders and Duchene has noticed Ryan's play increasing as he gets closer and closer to 100% healthy.
"He's had a tough go with his injuries this season," said Duchene about Ryan's numerous finger injuries in 2017-18. "I know he tried to play through it for the team early on and since he's come back he's gradually gotten better and better."
With Mike Hoffman moving back to a familiar spot on a line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Tom Pyatt recently, Ryan has fit right in with Duchene and Ryan Dzingel and the trio has combined for 14 points over the last 4 games.
"He's been outstanding in the last 3-4 games," Duchene said of Ryan. "When he's moving like he is right now he's hard to stop. He's got great hands and can see the ice well so it's been a lot of fun playing with him and Dzingel."
Video: NYI@OTT: Ryan ties game on lucky deflection
As I was getting ready for tonight's game, I came across a few little, interesting tidbits that I thought I'd pass along. Let's fire up those bulletpoints...
- Erik Karlsson leads all regular NHL defenceman in points/game this season (0.85/GP).
- Thomas Chabot's 22 points this season are the 6th most by a Sens rookie in the last 10 years.
- Despite not playing in a game since March 9th, Mark Stone is still the Sens leading scorer this season (62 points in 58 games).
- Ryan Dzingel's average ice-time has gone up 2:10/GP this season compared to last year.
- Mike Hoffman's 243 shots on goal is 59 more than the second most on the team (Karlsson: 184).
- Hoffman has also surpassed his previous career-high in shots (2015-16: 242).
- 38.4% of Hoffman's 52 points this season have come on the power play.
3. Dzingel startles young fan
First off, here's a pro tip for you: if you're coming to a Sens game make sure to get here nice and early and catch the warm-up. It's a great opportunity for your kids to see the guys up close before the puck drops and because you get cool moments like this:
Video: NYI@OTT: Dzingel startles young fan along glass
My main takeaway from that video is that it's adorable but also that that kid kind of looks like the child version of Ryan Dzingel. Either way, if the guys aren't handing out pucks, spare sticks or posing for the occasional selfie...they're doing cool stuff like this. Get her early, folks.
4. Previous meeting
These teams met just 9 days ago at Canadian Tire Centre and it didn't go so well for the home squad. The Panthers' offence exploded in Ottawa and they left town with a 7-2 victory and 2 big points in the Eastern Confernce play-off race.
Highlights are below if you're interested (not sure if you should be though)...
Video: OTT Recap: Gaborik, Sieloff score in loss to Panthers
5. Where to watch
It's a 7:30 p.m. start time tonight at Canadian Tire Centre and this is one of two remaining times you can come and see the Sens in person this season. So if you haven't already, grab some tickets here and we'll see you at the rink.
Can't make it to the rink? Sens House is literally the next best thing and during this evening's game against the Sabres they'll be serving up specials of Molson Canadian ($5 for a 437ml or $4 for a 355ml). Click here to make a reservation.