The Ottawa Senators play host to the Dallas Stars after an impressive showing on Saturday against the LA Kings. They ran the score up for a 5-1 final, a rare blowout win for the Senators in a season that is likely going to be difficult to win those type of games. They took advantage of a road weary Kings team who didn’t come to play against the Senators. The Sens are probably going to be good for a win like that here and there, but it’s not going to be enough to find the playoffs.
Against a good offence, they could have easily lost that game 6-5, which will be a familiar scene this season for them. The offence gets going, but defensively they struggle to stop the other team. The loss of Erik Karlsson really hurts their blueline. It certainly leaves a gaping hole that is going to be difficult to replace.
Craig Anderson is a very average goaltender. Average is not going to be enough to compensate for the lackluster effort he’s going to get form his defence, though. Anderson was brilliant leading the Sens a couple of years ago to the Eastern Conference Final, but he regressed considerably last season. Yes, they went to the conference final, which is crazy to think considering where they are now.
The team was motivated by the struggle Anderson’s wife was going through with her cancer diagnosis. It was terrific how everyone came together and went all the way to the conference final. The Penguins were too tough, though, and the Senators haven’t been the same since off-ice drama began to grip the franchise. That chapter is over, but they still need to rebuild their roster. The Stars have a back-to-back the next two days, as they head to New Jersey for a matchup with the Devils on Tuesday night. Head below for our free Stars vs. Senators pick.
Dallas Stars vs. Ottawa Senators Pick
The Stars have been stuck with anemic defence for the past five years. They’ve had a ton of offensive talent with the likes of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, but the defence couldn’t prevent offenses. A few seasons ago they were just about 1st in goal scoring and last in defence, which is just treading water and not going anywhere. The Stars have made it a point to improve the defence, but they’re still not there in that respect.
There is only so much money to go around, and they’re handcuffed with paying the talent upfront. There is some talent to be had on the blueline, though. John Klingberg is a guy who any team would want on their roster. It remains to be seen if they have enough defence to make a push in the playoffs. The offence has gotten off to a fast start with 4.25 goals per game, with a total of 14 goals in their last three games. They are coming off a 5-3 win against the Ducks.
Conversely, the Senators had that impressive showing against the Kings with a 5-1 win. They kind of got away with one there, though, as Anderson bailed the defence out. The Kings put 37 shots on net, but only 1 made it past him. With the offence clicking, Anderson got some nice goal support. It was needed for a team who previously allowed 13 goals in their two games before the outing against the Kings. The Sens have allowed an average of over 40 shots per game in their last two games. With the offensive minded Stars in town, don’t expect the defence to look great here. A total that looks like it should be 6.5 makes a play on the OVER attractive despite the juice.