In their 74th game of the year, the Ottawa Senators will reignite the Tkachuk Rivalry
As the Senators’ playoff hopes are hanging on by loose threads, they will reignite the Tkachuk rivalry as they host the Florida Panthers tonight. Here is your SenShot Gameday Preview:
Ottawa Senators (35-333-5, 75 pts) VS Florida Panthers (36-30-7)
When: 7 pm
Where To Watch: SN1, SNO, SNW, RDS2
Where To Listen: TSN1200
Ottawa Senators Notes
This game has to be considered a Must-Win in order to gain some traction on the final WildCard Spot. The Florida Panthers are currently the highest-seeded team currently not in a wildcard spot and if the Sens want to gain some ground they MUST win.
Clinching Scenarios: Should the Senators win tonight in any fashion, the Toronto Maple Leafs will clinch a playoff berth. If the Buffalo Sabres manage to lose tonight against the Montreal Canadiens in any fashion, AND if the Panthers lose tonight in regulation, the New York Rangers will also clinch a playoff berth.
Scoreboard Watching: The best possible situation for the Senators’ playoff hopes would be if the Buffalo Sabres lost to the Montreal Canadiens, and if the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Islanders.
Gary Bettman will be in attendance for tonight’s game. He is expected to join TSN1200’s pregame show beginning at 5 pm.
Tkachuk VS Tkachuk: This will mark the second Tkachuk rivalry game this season. The Panthers won the first game 5-3 back on October 29th. Both Brady and Matt Tkachuk scored a goal in the affair. The entire Tkachuk family is expected to be in attendance tonight.
Injury Update: Mathieu Joseph rejoined the team for full practice today, skating primarily on the third line. He will be a game-time decision tonight. Cam Talbot practiced today and could make his return as soon as Thursday. Jakob Chychrun‘s injury has been announced to be a hamstring-related issue. He is expected to miss 2-3 weeks.
Claude Giroux is still sitting at 993 career points. He is only 7 away from hitting the 1000-point mark.
Mads Sogaard was in the starter’s end during Morning Skate. Expect him to get the nod in net tonight.
Florida Panthers Notes
The Florida Panthers are coming off a loss against the New York Rangers on Saturday. They have lost three in a row.
Matt Tkachuk is more than replicating his season last season. He ended last season with 42 goals, and 62 assists for 104 points. This year, in 70 games he has scored 35 goals and 62 assists for 97 points. In a full 82-game year he is on pace for 114 points.
The Panthers are currently 3 points away from tying the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wildcard spot.
Expect Spencer Knight to get the nod in net tonight. In 21 games this season, he is 9-8-3 with a save percentage of .901 and a goals-against average of 3.18.
Ottawa Senators Lines
Brady Tkachuk – Tim Stutzle – Claude Giroux
Alex DeBrincat – Shane Pinto – Drake Batherson
Derick Brassard – Dylan Gambrell – Mathieu Joseph/Julien Gauthier
Patrick Brown – Mark Kastelic – Austin Watson
Jake Sanderson – Artem Zub
Thomas Chabot – Travis Hamonic
Erik Brannstrom – Nick Holden
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Florida Panthers Lines
Eetu Luostarinen – Aleksander Barkov – Anthony Duclair
Carter Verhaeghe – Anton Lundell – Matt Tkachuk
Ryan Lomberg – Eric Staal – Sam Reinhart
Givani Smith – Colin White – Nick Cousins
Gustav Forsling – Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal – Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura – Radko Gudas