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San Jose Sharks vs Ottawa Senators: Getting to know the opponent


Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the San Jose Sharks will take on the Ottawa Senators as they boys in teal return to the Shark Tank after playing one game on the road. The Sharks will be looking to go 5-0 to start the season for the second consecutive year, while the Senators will aim to continue their current point streak.

 

Game Number: 5

Opponent: Ottawa Senators

Opponent Record (Last 10): 1-0-2

Offense: Hot (8 G total in last two games)

Defense: Cold (9 G allowed last two game)

Power Play: Cold (12.5% conversion rate—24th in the NHL)

Penalty Kill: Cold (75%—24th in the NHL)

 

Players to Watch

The Senators have some of the most talented players in the NHL on their roster. Erik Karlsson has two points in three games so far, and Ottawa’s offense tends to funnel through him from the blue line. While he’s not skating quite like he used to, he still have one of the most outstanding strides in the league and is a blast to watch.

Sharks fans are all too familiar with forward Bobby Ryan due to his tenure as an Anaheim Duck. Don’t expect him to be any funner to play against, as he’s developed some strong chemistry with center Jason Spezza.

Milan Michalek will be another familiar face in San Jose. He’s underrated around the NHL, but not at the Shark Tank. He played for the Sharks five seasons and scored many a goal for the franchise.

A player some folks might not be too familiar with is Patrick Wiercioch. While Karlsson gets most of the attention as the go-to offensive-defenseman for the Senators, Wiercioch is no pushover with the puck. He’s the other half of the defensive pairing for Ottawa’s top power-play and can bring it from the back end. The overall team speed is strong, and it will be fun to see how the suddenly-hasty Sharks can hang.

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Goaltending Matchup

While both of these offenses are capable of putting up some big goal totals, this contest could easily be a low-scoring affair because of the high-quality goaltending. The Sharks have scored at least four goals in each of their first four games, and Craig Anderson will have his hands full.

He’s typically up to the task, and is no stranger to making 30-plus saves on a nightly basis though. The defensive support hasn’t been strong for Anderson so far this year, but he’s a top-10 goaltender in the NHL and will be fired up as he takes on one of the league’s best in Antti Niemi.

Tags: NHL San Jose Sharks