The Colorado Avalanche set their sights on the Senators in Ottawa on Wednesday. They’re hoping that their 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs can spring them loose to go on a run. Despite that win, it was only their second win in eleven games. A win like that has the potential to springboard a struggling team, though. Conversely, following it up with a loss against a doormat like the Senators could have the opposite impact.
You play a solid game to beat one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and then lose to a team vying for the first pick in the draft? Yeah, that could kill whatever confidence was generated pretty quickly. The win moved the Avs to 21-17-7 on the season, which still puts them a position to play spring hockey.
Following their trip to Ottawa, the Avs will finally head home after this five-game road trip in Canada. They will play host to the LA Kings on Saturday, so they have some extra time off to gear up. Getting an extra day off is nice when things are going your way. When things are in the gutter, it can work positively or negatively. Regardless, if the Avalanche can beat the Sens tonight then they should be feeling pretty good after the start of this road trip was a disaster.
The Senators go into Wednesday with a mark of 17-24-5. It’s not pretty, but that’s pretty well been their expectations this season. The Erik Karlsson deal with the Sharks was the end of the most recent era in Senators’ history. It’s crazy to think that this team was a goal away from going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. They were ousted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in double overtime of Game 7 to end their magical run. It’s been downhill from there, with more off-ice drama getting the headlines in Ottawa. We’ll see what they have to give tonight against the Avalanche in Kanata. Head below for our free Avalanche vs. Senators pick.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Ottawa Senators Pick
The Avalanche were propelled by a Carl Soderberg hat trick in Toronto. Colorado peppered Andersen with 36 shots in his return off the IR. He allowed 4 goals while the Avalanche struck twice into an empty net. It was a nice response after the Avs were shutout by the Canadiens in Montreal. They will likely find it easy to generate scoring opportunities against the Sens as well. Ottawa enter with the worst defence in the league, allowing an average of 3.87 goals per game.
The Blackhawks are the next closes with 3.71 allowed per game, so they are the worst by a decent margin. Has it been getting any better for the Sens, though? Nope. They were bad earlier in the season and have still been getting worked by opposing offences.
In their previous ten games, they’ve gotten exploited for 3.8 goals per game. The Avalanche scored 6 goals on the Senators in their most recent meeting in October. If the Avs want to play tonight, there shouldn’t be any reason for not scoring often against the Sens in this spot.
Ottawa have stated that they are going with former Canuck, Anders Nilsson, in net. Nilsson has appeared in 17 games this season and has posted a 2.91 GAA and 0.902 save percentage. The Canucks don’t have the hottest defence out there, but they are certainly better than what Nilsson must work with in Ottawa.
He’s been doing fine, though, with a 2.43 GAA and 0.92 save percentage in four starts. However, it’s unlikely he can keep going at this pace given his history with the Canucks. The Avalanche have been dangerous on the road offensively, but the blue line has shown numerous cracks.
They have scored 3.54 goals per game, though are allowing 3.42 goals per game in this capacity on the road. Varlamov owns a 2.93 GAA compared to a 2.71 GAA in Denver. The OVER has gone 12-2 in their last 14 meetings. They’ve gone OVER in four straight dating back to March 11th of 2017. I’m under the impression that we are going to see more than 6 goals on the board in this one.