Game Day 5

1. The set up:

It's the second and final meeting between the Senators and Wild with the Senators taking the first meeting back in Sweden for the Global Series in a shootout after Anton Forsberg found a streaking Erik Brännström to tie the game sending it to overtime.

MIN@OTT: Brannstrom scores goal against Wild

It's been a while since these two saw each other as the season is winding down to a close as we head toward playoffs. The Senators, though not eliminated yet won't be a part of the playoff picture this season as they sit 12 points back of Washington for the final Wild Card spot with just nine games remaining. However, they have been playing some of their best hockey of late, acting as the spoiler to a number of teams along a five-game win streak. 

The Wild are clinging on to whatever playoff hopes they have left sitting eight points behind the Kings with a game in hand and needing to leap frog the Blues in the process with just nine games left. With that this team has been bold and taking chances such as pulling the goaltender twice in overtime in the last few weeks, once netting the win and in their last game coming up empty and sacrificing the point they earned in getting to overtime. Led by Kirill Karpisov on the verge of his third straight 40-goal season, Joel Eriksson Ek, Matt Boldy, and Mats Zuccarello all over 50-points on the season, this Wild team has weapons.

Look for them to come out of the gates hungry as the Senators will look to play spoiler once more.

2. Roster report:

While Thomas Chabot was an active participant in morning skate today and is progressing well, he will be held out tonight as interim head coach Jacques Martin wants him as close to 100% ready to go before getting him back in the line-up. Joonas Korpisalo is set to be the starter for the fifth time in the last six games as the Senators look to extend their win streak to six.

Projected Lines Article

3. Who to watch:

Fresh off potting the game-winning goal on a late power play in Winnipeg look for the Captain to put his mark on this game early. Brady Tkachuk has been a machine this season for the Senators, leading the way with 33 goals, on the verge of his second career 35-goal season and pacing toward a new career high for the third straight season.

OTT@WPG: Tkachuk scores goal against Connor Hellebuyck

Beyond just scoring goals which he's done in bunches, Tkachuk leads the team in shots (313) and hits (247) ranking in the top five in the NHL in both. A true unicorn in this league look for Brady to set the tone with his physicality and unrelenting play against a desperate Wild team.

4. Fourth line clicking:

A couple weeks ago had you heard that the Senators would be on a five-game win streak you might think it was as a result of the play of stars like Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle, or Claude Giroux. While they have all been solid over this stretch the true key to the Sens success has been an explosive output from the fourth line of Boris Katchouk, Mark Kastelic, and Parker Kelly. 

Since Katchouk joined the Senators at the trade deadline, he has scored twice and added two helpers in 12 games. In that same stretch Mark Kastelic has a goal and four assists which on paper may not seem like a lot but when you factor in that in the prior 44 games he had three goals and one assist the production can't be ignored. Meanwhile in those 12 games Parker Kelly has two assists and two goals while establishing a new career high in goals for the season.

The trio has 12 points in 12 games and most notably had an impact helping score the first two goals of the game against the Buffalo Sabres last week setting the tone for the Senators 6-2 victory. If the fourth line keeps clicking like they have been Jacques Martin has a pretty full arsenal at his disposal to throw at Minnesota tonight.

5. Where to watch:

Tonight's game can be found live on TSN5 in English and RDS2 in French, while fans looking for the radio call can tune into TSN1200 and Unique FM 94,5 for the English and French calls respectively.