Game Day 5

1. The set up:

It's the third and final meeting between these two Eastern Conference opponents and as both sides come in on the second game of a back-to-back the Senators will look to get their first win after the Hurricanes won in both Ottawa and on Long Island already this season.

It's been three straight trips to extra time for the Senators and three straight wins as they look to extend that to four wins tonight. Key to the Senators success in these three wins has been that different players have stepped up every night. Against Pittsburgh it was Drake Batherson who potted the overtime winner, while against Columbus Claude Giroux had his best outing in a while scoring once in regulation and then sealing the deal with a slap shot in the shootout.

Yesterday it was the Brady Tkachuk show scoring three of the Senators four goals including the overtime winner. Also consistent in those three wins has been strong goaltending performances with a combined 0.943% save percentage and only a 2.00 goals against average.

The Hurricanes come into this contest fresh off a wild comeback victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. With just 1:32 remaining they trailed by two goals before Sebastian Aho potted a pair to send it to overtime where the Hurricanes won in a shootout. One of the most intimidating teams in the NHL right now sitting in second place in the Metropolitan Division and making a big trade deadline acquisition with Jake Guentzel, this team is hard to beat.

The Hurricanes do it all and they do it all well, ranking in the top-ten in goals for, goals against, power play percentage, penalty kill percentage, shots for, and shots against, there is extremely limited room for error. With Kochetkov playing last night we expect to see Frederik Andersen in net tonight in just his fourth game since returning from a blood clotting health issue. Expect tonight to be a hard fought 60-minute battle.

2. Roster report:

Given that it's the second game of a back-to-back the Senators did not hold a morning skate today. Below is how the Senators lined up against the New York Islanders yesterday with no roster moves since then. With Joonas Korpisalo starting yesterday we expect Anton Forsberg wil mind the net tonight.

Projected Lines Article

3. Who to watch:

While Brady Tkachuk was certainly the obvious star of the show yesterday, don't count out what Tim Stützle contributed on the ice. Stützle provided three assists on the Senators four goals and was the primary assist on two of them setting up both Ridly Greig and Brady Tkachuk perfectly.

Stütlze paces the Sens in points this season with 63, nearly a point per game. While his goal scoring has been a bit down this season compared to last, Stützle's play making ability has been on another level this season, sitting only four assists shy of his career high of 51 and with 17 games to play he should rocket past that.

All that said, Stützle, though he's be the last to admit it, has had some pretty incredible goals himself this season and when he's scoring the Sens are often winning. Be it his bat in goal in Sweden, fending off three Panthers on a break away, any one of his toe drag finishes, Stützle can find a way to get it done. Currently riding a five-game point streak, look for Stützle to put his stamp on this game and extend that streak to six.

OTT@CBJ: Stutzle scores goal against Elvis Merzlikins

4. Special teams challenge:

If ever the Senators have had a tall task in front of them regarding the special teams battle, this is it. Penalties will be highly scrutinizted in this one as Carolina boasts the fifth best power play in the league converting 26.0% of their chances, so mistakes are costly. On the other side drawn penalties might not be as lucrative as against most opponents as the Hurricanes have the second best penalty kill in the league shutting down a whopping 85.7% of chances. 

However, the Senators got a very welcomed boost to their power play yesterday after struggling most of this season, the Sens were able to convert two of their three advantages yesterday including the game winner. They must look to carry that momentum into tonight if they want to try to take down this juggernaut Hurricanes team.

OTT@NYI: Tkachuk scores goal against Semyon Varlamov

5. Where to watch:

For fans not at Canadian Tire Centre, tonight's game can be found live on TSN5 in English and RDS in French. Additionally, TSN1200 and Unique FM 94,5 have you covered on the radio with the English and French calls.