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The Vancouver Canucks host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night in a matchup of two teams eager to regain winning form. Vancouver has lost three of its last four games to fall back into fourth place of the Pacific Division. Most recently the Canucks split a pair with Edmonton, winning on the road 5-2 before falling at home 3-2. Leading goal scrorer J.T. Miller has six points over the last five games.
Ottawa saw a stretch of five wins in six games come to a screeching halt over the last week. The Senators have lost four in a row with a total of four goals scored in those games. The trip to Vancouver is the third matchup of a five-game road trip, and Ottawa needs to break out sooner than later or else it'll have a very big hole to climb out of in the Atlantic Division standings. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his team leading 14th goal in the Senator's loss to Calgary on Saturday.
Ottawa looks to snap losing streakThere's not much mystery as to why Ottawa isn't winning games. The Senators simply don't score often enough. Ottawa ranks 28th in the NHL with 2.56 goals per game including a paltry 9.8 success rate on power play opportunities. Leading scorer Jean-Gabriel Pageau broke out of a four-game goal drought on Saturday but it wasn't nearly enough as the Senators fell 3-1 to Calgary. Anthony Duclair, the team's second best scorer, is now in a four-game drought of his own. Calgary's 2018 first round pick, Brady Tkachuk, is carrying a lot of weight as a 20-year old. The St. Louis native has nine goals and six assists.
Practice in Vancouver this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/TBbtiWUqn2— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 2, 2019
Anders Nilsson will start at goalie on Tuesday. Nilsson's last outing was one to quickly forget, he as he allowed seven goals to Minnesota. Before that, Nilsson had been playing fairly well with three straight wins to his name at one point. The Swede boasts a 2.92 goals allowed average and a .917 save percentage, both better than his career marks.
Vancouver tries to break out of slumpJust a week ago Vancouver was coming off back to back road wins over Nashville and Washington and appeared to be ascending the Pacific Division standings. Since then, the Canucks have dropped three of four games including that remarkable third period collapse against Pittsburgh where they gave up six goals. Points leader Elias Pettersson has gone the last two games without an assist or goal, and it's clear the offense isn't capable of producing many goals when he's not directly apart of the action. The bright spot recently has been 2018 first round pick Quinn Hughes, who has six assists in the last five games.
Vancouver will be without top goalie Jacob Markstrom, who is attending his father's memorial service. That means the start will go to Thatcher Demko, who has 19 career starts to his name. Demko is 5-4-1 this season with a 2.92 GAA and a .907 save percentage. However, he gave up seven goals against Pittsburgh in his most recent outing including that aforementioned third period.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on covers.com, are:
- Canucks are 8-0 in their last eight games vs. Atlantic Division opponents.
- Canucks are 7-3 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Senators are 6-20 in their last 26 Tuesday games.
- Senators are 3-7 in their last 10 games vs. Pacific Division opponents.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Vancouver should take advantage of playing at home against an opponent in Ottawa that has lost three straight on the road. The Canucks are the better team on offense and particularly on special teams, where they convert power plays at a rate almost three times that of Ottawa. Canucks center J.T. Miller has three goals and three assists in the last five games.
Prediction: Vancouver Canucks -171
Full-Game Total Pick
Both goalies are coming off outings where they allowed seven goals, so it's hard to have much confidence in this one going under. Nonetheless, it seems like the proper pick especially when you realize that Ottawa goalie Anders Nilsson is off to a fantastic start (.917 save percentage). Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko is out to prove himself after giving up five third period goals to Pittsburgh.
Prediction: Under 6