The NHL is set up with a solid night of action on Tuesday night. Eleven games will be up on the board in total on January 14. One of these matchups will be between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Ottawa Senators. Neither team has had a good start to the season, but will look to earn a nice win in his matchup. This game will drop the puck at around 7:30 PM Eastern time.
The Blackhawks have started this season out with a record of 20-20-6, which has them tied for last place in the Central Division with the Minnesota Wild. Chicago is only nine points out of third place in their division, so if they can hit a winning streak, they could get back in the playoff race. The Blackhawks earned a win in their last one, but have lost three of their last five games.
Ottawa has earned a record of 16-22-7 to this point in the season. The Senators are seventh place of the Atlantic Division. Ottawa is twelve points ahead of the lowly Detroit Red Wings and only six points behind the Montreal Canadiens. The Senators have lost seven games in a row coming into this one. Ottawa will look to end this slide with a win at home against Chicago.
These two teams are sitting a little way back from a playoff spot to this point in the season. Both teams have missed out on the playoffs for a couple seasons and will look to try and make a late season push to get back in the race this season. I expect these teams to still come out competitively in this matchup as they try climb back up the standings before it gets too late.
The Blackhawks and the Senators opened up their seasons against each other last season in Ottawa. These two teams combined for five goals in the opening period, including a goal and an assist for Maxime Lajoie and Colin White. Jonathan Toews fed Patrick Kane in overtime though to give Chicago a 4-3 win.
These two teams met again later in the season in Chicago for an absolute shootout. These two teams combined for nine goals in the first period as the Blackhawks took a 5-4 lead. Colin White had two goals and an assist for Ottawa, but it would not be enough. Alex DeBrincat had three goals and two assists, while Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome both had a goal and two assists. Chicago finished with an 8-7 win at home.
The Blackhawks have won five games in a row against the Senators over the past three seasons. Both teams have not made the playoffs in that time span, but Chicago has found ways to light the lamp against Ottawa. If the Senators can slow down the Blackhawks offense in this one, they should have a good chance to end that losing streak against them.
Chicago’s power play has not found a way to get going to this point in the season. The Blackhawks have capitalized on 22 of their 143 power play chances, which has led to a power play percentage of 15.4. Chicago’s penalty kill has been a bit better though. The Blackhawks have allowed 24 goals on their opponents 136 power play chances, which is an 82.6 percent kill rate.
The Senators power play has been even worse than Chicago throughout this season. Ottawa has only been able to score 16 power play goals on 140 power play opportunities, which is an 11.4 percent success rate. The Senators penalty kill has been around the league average, allowing 30 goals on 154 attempts, which is a penalty kill percentage of 80.5.
Neither of these teams have had any consistency on the power play this season. The Blackhawks have been better on both sides of special teams, but if they cannot score on the power play it may not give them the edge. If Ottawa can get some momentum going on the power play, they may be able to capitalize on one since it is at home. If not though, I do not expect special teams to play a huge role in this one.
I expect Robin Lehner to get the nod in the crease for Chicago in this matchup on Tuesday night. Lehner has earned a record of 13-7-4 through 24 starts on the season. He has put up a save percentage of .923 and a 2.88 GAA. Lehner’s last start came against the Anaheim Ducks, where he stopped 35 of the 37 shots against him to help the Blackhawks earn the win.
Marcus Hogberg will get the start in net for the Senators on Tuesday night. Hogberg has posted a record of 1-2-4 through seven starts this season. He has earned a .901 save percentage and a GAA of 3.02 throughout those starts. Hogberg’s last start was against the Montreal Canadiens, where he stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced in an overtime loss.
The Blackhawks have the edge in this matchup when it comes to goaltending, but if Hogberg can keep up what he has done recently, it could give Ottawa a really good chance. Hogberg has lost five games in a row, but three of those losses have been in overtime or a shootout. In Hogberg’s last three starts, he has a save percentage above .900. Lehner has won four of his last five starts and had a save percentage above .930 in those four wins.
The Senators are coming into this matchup having lost seven games in a row, but I think they have a good chance to end that with a win on Tuesday night. Ottawa can match up with the Blackhawks on special teams and if Hogberg plays well, it could help give them the extra push needed. Chicago has won five in a row against the Senators, but all streaks come to an end.
BetOnline has Ottawa listed as a -109 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Senators will win this game around 52.2 percent of the time. I believe that with this game in Ottawa, it should be a bit bigger of a spread. The Senators have struggled as of late, but as only slight underdogs in this one, I think they have a lot of value.