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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Ottawa Senators (50/82): Sens Are Ripe For The Picking

Calgary can send Ottawa to a 10th straight defeat today.

Ottawa Senators v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Calgary Flames @ Ottawa Senators, 2:00 PM MT, Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata OT

TV: SNW - Radio: SN960

Calgary Flames 26-18-5 (57 pts) - Ottawa Senators 16-23-8 (40 Points)

NHL Standings

Get a good look at your Calgary Flames because after today they are gone for 10 days. The Flames will wrap up a three game road trip in Ottawa to take on the slumping Senators before Calgary takes it’s mandatory All Star break. These games can become trap games as many players mentally check out with vacation on the horizon and this is something the Flames can’t do. They played a solid defensive game against Toronto on Thursday, limiting the Maple Leafs high powered offence to only one goal and keeping Auston Matthews goalless against the Flames. David Rittich put together a highlight reel for the ages that night, stopping 35 of Toronto’s 36 shots. Whatever team the Flames put on the ice this afternoon needs to continue that trend as they are facing a team that is in a complete free fall. A loss to the Senators would be absolutely inexcusable.

Why? Well, for starters the Sens are the second worst team in the NHL with only 40 points, trailing only the absolute dumpster fire that is the Detroit Red Wings (28). Ottawa is in the midst of a nine game losing streak and they’ve lost 16 out of their last 21. In their nine straight trips to the loss column they’ve been outscored 38-19, giving up four or more goals six times during this skid. They are now a -33 in goal differential and all that’s left is to play game 82 and move on to, hopefully, a brighter future.

Calgary and Ottawa met back on November 30th with the Flames sending the Sens to defeat by the score of 3-1. Calgary has won three straight at the Canadian Tire Centre and haven’t lost a season series to the Senators since 2016. If the Flames, who have been playing well lately (won 6 out of last 7), play well enough they should easily be able to dispatch the Senators with little trouble. HOWEVER, this Flames team showed zero effort in a 2-0 loss to a Montreal team that had lost eight out nine.

Starting Goalies

Flames: Rittich (Expected) 19-11-5, 2.73 GAA, .915 SV%

Senators: Anderson (Expected) 6-12-1, 3.32 GAA, .897 SV%

Team Leaders

Flames - Goals: Lindholm (20), Points: Tkachuk (38), PIM: Lucic (36), Save%: Talbot (.922)

Senators - Goals: Duclair (21), Points: Duclair (32), PIM: Borowiecki (56), Save%: Nilsson (.908)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Ottawa Senators Coverage: Silver Seven Sens

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 2 - Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (SO)

Ottawa Senators 2 - Vegas Golden Knights 4

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Derek Ryan (C): 3 points in last 5 games

Ottawa Senators

Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (C): 2 points in last 5 games