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The Ottawa Senators continue to roll through the pre-season with a 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Anton Forsberg matched the shutout performance of Joonas Korpisalo in Halifax, stopping all 21 shots against him. Jake Sanderson played his best pre-season game, being a defensive beast while chipping in a couple of assists. Josh Bailey also had his best pre-season game so far, scoring a goal and adding an assist as he battles for a contract.
Claude Giroux Undresses Connor Hellebuyck
The Senators’ first goal of the game came off the stick of Claude Giroux. The play started with Jake Sanderson in the neutral zone, who shut down a Winnipeg zone entry. After making the stop at the line, Sanderson moved the puck up to Brady Tkachuk, who was set up along the junction of the wall and centre line. Tkachuk sent a quick pass across the ice to Claude Giroux, who was alone behind the Jet’s defence. Giroux sold a hard backhand fake before going across his body to the forehand and sliding the puck into the empty cage.
Josh Bailey Finishes Broken Play
After killing off three consecutive Winnipeg Jets penalties, it was the Senators’ turn to get some power plays of their own. After creating some dangerous chances, the puck ended up behind the Winnipeg net in a board battle between Jiri Smejkal and Neil Pionk. Josh Bailey, who had come in for support, eventually worked the puck free. He passed to Jakob Chychrun, who was set up along the half wall. Chychrun fed Sanderson at the point, who fired a one-timer towards Hellebuyck. After hitting a body in front, a scramble ensued for the loose puck in the slot. Bailey found the puck first and took a quick turnaround shot toward the net that beat Hellebuyck low glove side.
Jakob Chychrun Shows Off Shot
The final goal of the game came off another Sens power play. Vladimir Tarasenko started the sequence after gaining the zone and moving the puck into the Winnipeg corner. Josh Bailey followed closely behind Tarasenko and picked the puck off a flat-footed Dylan DeMelo. Bailey looked out front, where he spotted Jakob Chychrun set up between the top of the hash marks. Chychrun wasted no time one-timing a heat seeker into the top of the net past Hellebuyck’s glove.
Anton Forsberg Continues To Look Excellent
Anton Forsberg continues to prove all his doubters wrong after delivering another outstanding performance this pre-season. The Senators have now shut out their opponents in back-to-back games after Korpisalo’s 40-save shutout in Halifax. Although Forsberg only had to make 21 saves, he faced several high-danger chances from the Winnipeg Jets tonight. He had a 2.97 goals saved above expected (GSAx), with 7 high danger, 5 medium danger, and 9 low danger chances against (NaturalStatTrick).
The numbers and the eye test both showed how elite Forsberg was tonight. Just like against Florida, he looked very comfortable and confident in the net, with his athleticism on full display. Forsberg tracked pucks exceptionally well and slowed the game down outside of a few messy situations. No matter what Winnipeg threw at Forsberg, he had an answer each time.
Jake Sanderson Looked Like The Best Player On The Ice
It may sound crazy to fans on the outside, but Jake Sanderson once again looked like the best player on the ice. After a solid finish to his last season, Sanderson has taken another step forward this year. He has consistently been outstanding for Ottawa and is quickly becoming one of, if not their most valuable player. As mentioned earlier, Sanderson was a rock on the blue line and consistently shut down offensive opportunities for the Winnipeg Jets. He is quickly becoming one of the best two-way defencemen in the NHL, and you could argue he is the most underrated player in the league.
Even though the general NHL community scoffed at the Jake Sanderson extension this summer, it was an absolute home run of a deal by Pierre Dorion. Sanderson is a truly special player; from what he has shown in his young career, the sky is the limit. With Sanderson, Chychrun, Chabot, and Zub in the top 4, the Ottawa Senators’ blue line is in good hands.
Advanced Statistics Standouts
The Ottawa Senators, across the board, had some pretty impressive advanced statistics numbers tonight, but there are a few players I want to highlight. All stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.
- 16:25 TOI
- 1 Assist
- 86.67 CF% (26 shot attempts, 4 against)
- 96.04 xGF% (Expected goals for versus against)
- 90.00 HDCF% (High danger chances for versus against)
- 24:10 TOI
- 82.86 CF%
- 86.99 xGF%
- 85.71 HDCF%
- 21:13 TOI
- 74.42 CF%
- 87.31 xGF%
- 83.33 HDCF%
- 15:55 TOI
- 66.67 CF%
- 91.66 xGF%
- 66.67 HDCF%
The Senators are back in action Saturday for their final pre-season game before heading out to Carolina for the season opener against the Hurricanes.
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