The Ottawa Senators saw their four-game winning streak come to an end despite Mike Hoffman highlighting a four-point performance with his first career hat trick. With four goals and five assists in his last five contests, Hoffman and the Senators look to keep their offense in gear on Thursday when they continue their three-game homestand against the high-octane Philadelphia Flyers.
Mark Stone scored versus the Sabres in his 200th NHL game and also tallied in the Senators’ 3-2 shootout victory over the Flyers on Nov. 15. Steve Mason turned aside 24 shots in a losing effort in that tilt but recorded a season-high 45 saves on Tuesday as Philadelphia won its second straight with a 3-2 shootout victory over Boston. “The type of performance ‘Mase’ had (Tuesday) is something that injects a lot of confidence into the group,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said of the 28-year-old Ontario native. “... ‘Mase’ battled real hard for us (Tuesday) and he’s the reason we got the two points.” Mason owns a solid 8-4-2 career mark with two shutouts against Ottawa, although he has won just once in six outings this season away from the City of Brotherly Love.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CSN-Philadelphia, RDS, TSN5 (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE FLYERS (11-10-3): Brayden Schenn is on the move again as Hakstol once again shuffled the deck and sent the well-traveled forward to the second line to join promising Travis Konecny and veteran Wayne Simmonds. “I‘m at the center spot and playing with two great wingers, so hopefully the three of us can click and make it happen,” the 25-year-old Schenn told Philly.com. Signed to a four-year, $20.5 million contract in the summer, Schenn insists the offense will come despite mustering just three goals this season and one in his last 16 games.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (14-8-1): Named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday, Craig Anderson didn’t shine as bright the following day after being blitzed for five goals on 28 shots against Buffalo. Although he traditionally stymies the Flyers with a 10-5-2 career mark, the 35-year-old Anderson has elected to take a leave of absence to be with his wife Nicholle, who was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma last month. “Right now, it’s one game.” Guy Boucher said. “Is it two? We’re not sure. He won’t be here Friday (for practice), but we’ll see come Saturday (versus visiting Florida).” Mike Condon is expected to receive his first start since Nov. 17, when he was tagged for five goals on 40 shots in a 5-1 setback versus Nashville.
1. Senators captain Erik Karlsson, who scored the decisive goal in the shootout against the Flyers last month, has one goal and four assists in his last five games.
2. Philadelphia’s second-ranked power play has scored a goal in 15 of its 24 games this season, although it went 0-for-4 versus Ottawa in the first encounter.
3. Senators C Kyle Turris scored in the first meeting with the Flyers and has four goals and two assists in his last four games.
PREDICTION: Senators 3, Flyers 2