Game-Preview #27: Ottawa Senators @ Philadelphia Flyers

Jacob Bernard-Docker #24 of the Belleville Senators (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

With Senators veteran defenceman Nikita Zaitsev sidelined with injury, 21-year-old rookie defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker finally gets his chance.

Matchup
Ottawa Senators
9-17-1
Philadelphia Flyers
11-12-5
Saturday, December 18
7 PM ET
CBC
Flyers -125

The Flyers have seen improvement in their play since the firing of head coach Alain Vigneault after the team stumbled to an 8-11-4 record, interim head coach Mike Yeo has been able to spark the squad, boasting a record of 3-2-1 since the move.

JBD is Back

Recalled from the Belleville Senators on December 9th, Bernard-Docker has been a healthy scratch since the move to Ottawa, mainly due to the Senators’ hot streak and the mantra of never changing a winning lineup. Now Bernard-Docker will have a chance to step into the lineup for a significant amount of time if he can continue his play from Belleville.

Through his first 18 games of the season in the AHL, the Canmore, Alberta native has just 3 points (2G,1A) but his play has stood out enough off of the score sheet to warrant the call-up. Both of Bernard-Docker’s goals this season came in the same game, notching a pair of goals on October 27th in a defeat of the Rochester Americans.

He also has appeared in 2 games with the big club this season, adding an assist.

Relied on more for his defensive acumen down in Belleville, where he was deployed in a lot of defensive situations, especially on the penalty kill.

Zaitsev Injury

Zaitsev suffered a heel injury in Ottawa’s previous game, and he’s expected to be sidelined for nearly a month.

The veteran defenceman had his fair share of struggles at the start of the season, however, when Zaitsev was promoted to the top-pairing with Thomas Chabot he did appear to settle down and find his game, mainly thanks to his elite defensive partner.

Team Leaders

Goals: OTT – Norris (14), PHI – Atkinson (12)

Assists: OTT – Batherson (19), PHI – Giroux (14)

Points: OTT – Batherson (28), PHI – Giroux (24)

+/-: OTT – Batherson (+7), PHI – Atkinson (+10)

Shots: OTT – Tkachuk (78), PHI – Atkinson (79)

Hits: OTT- Tkachuk (94), PHI – Ristolainen (88)

Starting Goalies

Anton Forsberg

2021-22 Season Stats: 12 GP, 6-5-0, 0.909 SV%, 3.09 GAA, 1 Shutout

Even though Forsberg lost his last start, it was nothing of his own doing, as losing a 2-1 game to the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions while stopping 25/27 shots is a well-above-average performance.

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Martin Jones

2021-22 Season Stats: 10 GP, 4-4-1, 0.908 SV%, 3.37 GAA

The former San Jose Shark and Los Angeles King netminder has now settled down as the backup in Philadelphia, producing mediocre numbers to start the season.

All stats via Hockey Reference