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Game Preview: Nashville Predators @ Ottawa Senators 1/9/23

The Nashville Predators’ road trip continues.

NHL: DEC 10 Senators at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Nashville Predators head to Canada’s capital tonight to take on the Ottawa Senators. Despite a wealth of young talent, the Sens have had an incredibly average season, going 18-18-3 so far with their latest game an 8-4 loss to the Seattle Kraken.

They’ve been getting significant contributions from both their own drafted players and offseason acquisition Claude Giroux. With the exception of Giroux, their top offensive contributors are all 25 and under, for almost any definition of “top offensive contributor” you want to use.

Brady Tkachuk leads the team with 26 assists and 40 points, while Tim Stützle has contributed 18 goals and trails Tkachuk by a single point. Drake Batherson and Alex DeBrincat join Giroux in the 20+ assists club, with Batherson contributing 13G/24A, Giroux 16G/21A, and DeBrincat 13G/23A. Thomas Chabot and 20-year-old Jake Sanderson have been quietly making good first passes to put together some offense from the blueline, and rookie Shane Pinto has made it to double digits in goals as well.

Other than that, there’s a lot of filler to this roster on paper, though they’ve been getting either a little unlucky with converting on shots or are having some systems issues preventing chances from being as good as they look. Still, it’s been enough to win them half of their games with a lot of promise for the future, and that’s what’s important.

Cam Talbot and Anton Forsberg have been decent in goal, putting up sv%s of .906 and .909 respectively. They’ve been a little bit above average, and with Ottawa’s okay defense that’s worked out fine for them.

The special teams are where Ottawa has excelled, crashing the net on the power play and converting on the barrage of chances they’ve accumulated. Shorthanded, their defense isn’t as good, but Talbot and Forsberg have turned in great goaltending performances to make their penalty kill a force to be reckoned with as well. The Predators are going to want to keep this one 5v5.

How to Watch

The game airs at 6:30 Central/7:30 Eastern on NHL Network and Bally Sports South, with the radio call on 102.5 The Game.