The Ottawa Senators gave the Blue Jackets a fight on Monday night in Columbus, but it wasn’t enough as things got away from them late. In any case, they showed some nice fight in the 3rd period. The Senators erased a 3-1 deficit to tie the game up at 3-3. It didn’t last long, though, as the Jackets went ahead with 2 minutes left and then buried a couple of empty netters to put the game out of reach for good.
It wasn’t a win for the Senators, but at least they weren’t a doormat for the Jackets. Guy Boucher mixed his lines up before that contest to send a message. It worked to a degree, though it didn’t end up getting the Sens a point. They were 2 minutes away from locking at least a point on the board and that went south in a hurry.
The Senators return home tonight, where they will welcome the Vancouver Canucks to Kanata. The Canucks will be playing on a back-to-back tomorrow, as they travel to Montreal for a meeting with the Canadiens on Thursday. This will be the fourth leg of a six-game road trip, which will conclude in Toronto on Saturday. They follow that up with six games at home, so there is some relief coming for the Canucks.
They’ve gone 2-1 thus far, with wins over the Oilers and Flames. Once the Canucks travelled out east, things went a bit astray, though. They got upended by the Devils, 4-0, in Newark by Mackenzie Blackwood in net. The Devils have been searching for somebody to make a stand in net and Blackwood has been making a case. With the Canucks on a back-to-back the next two days, they may go with Anders Nilsson tonight and start Jacob Markstrom against the better team tomorrow in Montreal. Nilsson has lost nine straight games and it might be time for the Canucks to consider Thatcher Demko as the backup. Head below for our free Canucks vs. Senators pick.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Ottawa Senators Pick
The Canucks have had a hit and miss season, with some good moments that they can build on for the future. They were stuck with injuries last season to Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat on the shelf to derail any outside chance they had of going to the playoffs. The Canucks have been able to avoid the injury bug for the most part.
With a record of 19-19-2, they’re pretty well where most people had them at going into 2019. They’re .500 at home and on the road as well. It hasn’t made much of a difference, so home ice hasn’t been much of an advantage for the Canucks. Their numbers do slip on the road, though. Vancouver are averaging 2.83 goals per game and allowing 3.26 per game on the road.
As bad as the Senators have been this season, they’ve been presentable when playing at home. Ottawa are 11-7-3 in their own arena, while it takes a significant dive on the road at 4-14-1. They haven’t been nearly as bad in Kanata. The Sens have averaged 3.38 goals per game and allowed 3.14 goals per game on the road.
Marcus Hogberg is looking for his first win in the NHL after falling in his first two appearances. He has a 3.56 GAA and 0.88 save percentage thus far in his young career. Nilsson holds a 3.09 GAA and 0.895 save percentage for the Canucks. If Vancouver opts for Markstrom, they’re getting a 2.81 GAA and 0.91 save percentage in net this evening. Like I said, though, it’d make more sense to go with Nilsson in Ottawa and Markstrom in Montreal.
The Sens didn’t beat the Blue Jackets in their last outing, but I was impressed with the effort they gave. They were 2 minutes away from bringing a pretty good Columbus team to overtime on the road. Note that the Sens were competitive against the Capitals as well in a 3-2 loss the game prior. Now they’re back home in a place where they have felt much more comfortable this season. The Canucks are in the midst of a six-game road trip and have a back-to-back on tap. I don’t find any with their price in this matchup. I’d take the moneyline at plus money to end their losing streak.