The Ottawa Senators are in Raleigh tonight, as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Senators’ main goal for the rest of the season is not to embarrass themselves. In a perfect world, they want to be competitive, but still leave some room to get the first overall pick in the draft. Jack Hughes has the potential to immediately change a franchise, and matching him with some of the younger talent in Ottawa would benefit them for years to come.
The Sens would have a tremendous young core to build around. To an extent they already do, but Hughes would likely accelerate this team to the next level. They’d still have to work on improving the defence, so don’t expect instant results, though. It doesn’t matter how good they are offensively. If they keep at this pace defensively, they’re going to get beaten either way.
Craig Anderson is still recovering from a concussion, so like many other teams, the Senators have had to go to their Plan B and C options in net. Even with that, the Sens released one of their goaltenders, Mike McKenna, because he was playing so horribly.
No one has been playing particularly good in net, which goes for Anderson as well. They recently acquired Anders Nilsson off waivers from the Canucks. Nilsson was of no use to the Canucks, as he struggled to find a groove in Vancouver. He’s been playing decent enough for the Sens thus far, but he is prone to going through good stretches and then completely turns around and looks like he belongs in the AHL. Petr Mrazek is likely to get the nod for the Hurricanes, as Curtis McElhinney tends to a lower-body injury. Head below for our free Senators vs. Hurricanes pick.
Ottawa Senators vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick
This is a rematch of a January 6th meeting. In that contest, the Hurricanes edged out the Senators by a score of 5-4 in Ottawa. That’s pretty much a capsule for everything that has gone wrong for the Sens this season. A solid effort from their youngsters offensively, but once again, the defence provided zero support. It’s not so much a goaltending issue in Ottawa as it is a blue line problem.
The loss of Erik Karlsson stings and it’s had a ripple effect on the rest of the team. He’s out in San Jose helping the Sharks play pretty solid hockey recently. Meanwhile in Ottawa, the Sens continue to get pushed around in their own zone.
They are last in the league with an average of 3.83 goals allowed per game. Things can much worse when they take their show on the road as well. Note that they have allowed a staggering average of 4.5 goals per game when they travel out of town.
They are allowing 37.2 shots per game on the road and will have to try and slow down a Hurricanes squad who are averaging 36.6 shots per game. Expect ample scoring chances for Carolina in this contest. Additionally, they’ve scored 13 goals on the Sens in their previous three meetings.
The Hurricanes have scored 3.4 goals per game in their last ten outings, while the Sens have allowed 3.6 goals. Like most other games this season, their best chance at success is going to be with their offence. Mrazek has been okay with a 2.67 GAA and 0.901 save percentage. He’s allowed 3 or more goals in three of his last four appearances in the crease. I would take a look at the OVER in Raleigh on Friday.