The Senators return to the road to put their 2 game winning streak on the line against the surprising New York Islanders.
TV: ROGERS SPORTSNET; RADIO: TEAM1200
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the third meeting of the season between the teams. Andre Benoit and Dave Dziurzynski each scored their first NHL goals in the Senators 3-1 win in Ottawa, while John Tavares‘ Forsberg-like shootout goal gave the Isles a win on their home ice.
Ottawa won their first game by more than one goal since the last time they beat the Islanders on Feb 19th by beating Winnipeg 4-1 on Sunday evening. The Islanders blew a 3-0 lead to the Panthers by allowing 3 goals in less than two minutes, but recovered in time to score the winner with 8 minutes left in a 4-3 win on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Marc Methot, OTT – The Senators primary shut-down defenseman has been a big part of the reason Tavares is without a point in his two games against Ottawa this season. Played a season-high 27:58 the last time the Senators traveled to Long Island.
John Tavares, NYI – Tavares is in the top 10 in NHL scoring, but as mentioned above, doesn’t have a point against the Senators in 2 games, having an even +/- rating and 7 shots on goal. He had the shootout clincher the last time the teams met.
3 STORYLINES FOR TONIGHTS GAME
- Isles Surprise – Much to the surprise of many, the Islanders find themselves in the mix of the playoff race in the East, just three points behind the Devils, Leafs and Jets for the 6-8 spots, and one back of the Rangers for 9th.
- Sens Playoff Positioning – A win in regulation would put the Sens 9 points up on the Islanders, most likely putting too much space between them and eliminating one more team from the potential to catch the Senators.
- Offenseive Surge – The Senators have scored 20 goals in their last 6 games so the offense is showing signs that they have adapted to the way they need to play. It took them 13 games to get 20 goals prior to this stretch.
While the offense has picked up the slack a little, the team will still rely on great goaltending to win games. Whoever gets the start, Robin Lehner or Ben Bishop, will be counted on to stop the top line of the Islanders, the trio that really poses the only consistent offensive threats.