The NHL is set up with another exciting Saturday of action. Twelve games are up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these matchups will be a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Ottawa Senators. These two teams have struggled throughout this season, but will look to earn a nice win on Saturday night. The puck will drop at around 7:00 PM Eastern time for this game.
The Red Wings have earned a record of 15-47-4 so far this season, which has them in last place of the entire NHL. Detroit is eighteen points behind the second worst team in the NHL this season. The Red Wings have dropped their last four games and eight of their last nine. Detroit will look to bounce back with a nice win in this one on Saturday night.
Ottawa has posted a record of 22-31-12 throughout this season. The Senators are currently in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa is third worst in the NHL with that record, but are not far behind the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks. The Senators are coming off a win in their last game and will look to build on it as they host the Red Wings at home.
These two teams have had seasons to forget this season, but are still looking to earn a solid win on Saturday night. These two teams have already met up three times this season and they should have a good feel for each other in this matchup. I expect both teams to come out quickly to try and control the pace of the game to earn a big win.
The first game of the season series was hosted by the Senators on October 23. Anthony Duclair scored twice for Ottawa to help them dominate. Chris Tierney had a goal and an assist, while Thomas Chabot finished with two assists. Anders Nilsson stopped 34 of the 36 shots against him to help the Senators earn a big 5-2 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted back to Detroit on November 19. Valtteri Filppula had a goal and an assist, but it was not enough for the Red Wings to earn the win. Anthony Duclair had another big game as he earned two goals and an assist to give Ottawa the win. Nilsson turned away 35 of the 38 shots he faced in this one as the Senators won 4-3.
The third and most recent game of the season series was hosted by the Red Wings on January 10. Colin White had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, but this time it was not enough. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist, while Filip Hronek had two assists. Dylan Larkin scored once in regulation and again in the shootout to help propel the Red Wings to the win. Jonathan Bernier stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced as Detroit won 3-2 in a shootout.
The Red Wings special teams have been anything but this season. Detroit has capitalized on 29 of their 199 power play chances this season, which is a 14.6 percent success rate. The Red Wings have allowed their opponents to score on 53 of their 207 power play opportunities, which is a 74.4 percent penalty kill.
Ottawa has also not had a strong season on special teams, which has not helped their season. The Senators have been able to score on 29 of their 191 power play attempts this season, which is a 15.2 percent power play. Ottawa’s penalty kill has been slightly better though. The Senators have held opposing teams to 48 goals on 210 power play chances, which is a 77.1 percent kill rate.
Neither team has found any success this season on special teams. The Senators have a slight advantage on special teams in this matchup, but I do not expect it to play a big role. Neither team has had any consistency, which makes me believe that either team could pop off on special teams in this game. If either team can get their power play going though, it could give them a big advantage in this game.
Jonathan Bernier will likely get the start in the crease for Detroit in this matchup. Bernier has earned a record of 13-20-2 throughout his games this season. He has earned a save percentage of .906 and a 2.95 GAA in those games. Bernier’s last start came against the New Jersey Devils, where he stopped 27 of the 31 shots against him in a losing effort for the Red Wings.
Marcus Hogberg is expected to get the nod in net for the Senators on Saturday night. Hogberg has posted a record of 4-7-8 through his 19 starts this season. He has put up a .909 save percentage and a GAA of 3.05 through the season. Hogberg’s last start came against the Vancouver Canucks, where he stopped 32 of the 34 shots against him to help earn the win.
These two goalies have put up similar stats this season. Bernier’s numbers are pretty impressive when you consider how poor the Red Wings have done this season. Bernier has struggled in his last couple games played, but if he can bounce back in this one, it could help Detroit earn the upset on the road. Hogberg will look to build off of his previous performance.
The Senators have won two of their three games against the Red Wings so far this season, but I think Detroit will bounce back with a win on Saturday night. The Red Wings can compete with Ottawa on special teams, which evens up this matchup quite a bit. If Bernier can have a strong start in this one, I think that Detroit will earn a big win.
BetOnline has the Senators listed as a -155 against the money line in this matchup. This implies that Ottawa will win this game around 60.8 percent of the time. I think that these two teams are more evenly matched than this line implies. If the Red Wings can get going early, I think that they have a chance to earn a nice win on Saturday night.