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Carolina (9-6-1) at Ottawa (5-9-1)
Saturday, 7 p.m., Canadian Tire Centre, Sportsnet One, TSN 1200 AM, Unique 94.5 FM
THE BIG MATCHUP
Thomas Chabot vs. Dougie Hamilton
The Senators’ top player had 27:13 of ice time against the Kings on Thursday, finished plus-2 and had three shots on net. Yes, Chabot was held pointless, but he plays big minutes and is such a smart player. He just needs to contribute a little more offensive. As for Hamilton, he has led the Canes this season and is having a breakthrough year. The 26-year-old’s success just shows that patience is a virtue with young players.
FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Pick up where you left off
The Senators gave up a late goal to the Kings in the 3-2 OT victory Thursday night, but showed resilience by bouncing back and winning it in the extra five minutes. Ottawa has competed hard under coach D.J. Smith and if the players bring that to the table every night then they’ll give themselves a chance at having success.
2. Nilsson returns to the net
It makes sense to go back to Anders Nilsson after he made 26 stops in the club’s victory over the Kings. He made some big stops to make sure the Senators were able to get the two points and he’s won his last two starts. A victory here before heading on the road again would be good for the Senators and their confidence.
3. Positive start to the series
This will be a rare two-game set against the Hurricanes that continues Monday night in Raleigh. Since the Senators are 14-30-4 lifetime on the road against the Hurricanes’ organization (that relocated from Hartford), a victory in Ottawa would be a good start. The Senators are 1-5-0 against Carolina in the last two seasons.
4. Pageau needs to keep rolling
Jean-Gabriel Pageau has embraced his role as a leader on this team and scored the OT winner against the Canes. He’s on a four-game point streak coming into this one, with 4-1-5 in the club’s last five games. Pageau is a smart player who is able to be in a shutdown role as well. Has emerged as such a valuable contributor.
5. Be strong on special teams
The Senators have had no shortage of opportunities on their power plays, but just don’t seem to be able to cash in. That’s why they’re giving players the chance to get the job done, but they have to improve with the man advantage. No complaints about their penalty killing because it’s been a strong area for the most part.
OTT: PP 7.4% (31st); 80.3% (19th)
CAR: PP 21.6% (13th); PK 79.7 (22nd)
Nick Paul-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Connor Brown
Brady Tkachuk-Vladislav Namestnikov-Anthony Duclair
Tyler Ennis-Chris Tierney-Bobby Ryan
Filip Chlapik-J.C. Beaudin-Jonathan Davidsson
Thomas Chabot-Nikita Zaitsev
Erik Brannstrom-Ron Hainsey
Mark Borowiecki-Dylan DeMelo
Nino Niederreiter-Jordan Staal-Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov-Sebastian Aho-Warren Foegele
Ryan Dzingel-Lucas Wallmark-Martin Necas
Jamie McGinn-Eetu Luostarinen-Brian Gibbons
Jaccob Slavin-Dougie Hamilton
Jake Gardiner-Brett Pesce
Joel Edmundson-Trevor van Riemsdyk
OTT: Rudolfs Balcers, Logan Brown, Colin White, Christian Wolanin
CAR: Erik Haula, Jordan Martinook
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019