The Canucks enter the weekend in second-last place in the Scotia North Division standings with 39 points and an 18-19-3 overall record in 44 contests. Meanwhile, Ottawa remains at the bottom of the division with just 38 points and a 17-26-4 overall record in 47 contests.
Can the Senators earn a late-season win on the road versus Vancouver on Saturday night?
Murray earns another shutout in win vs. CanucksMatt Murray stayed hot and the Ottawa Senators shut out the Canucks with a 3-0 victory on Thursday night. Murray stopped all 31 shots that he faced on the night for his second shutout in less than a week while Tim Stutzle and Drake Batherson scored power-play goals to propel the Senators to their third straight win.
The Pride of Viersen, Germany. 🇩🇪— NHL (@NHL) March 9, 2021
Tim Stützle's been a joy to watch this season. pic.twitter.com/blIt5GdV9W
The Senators appear to be trending up over the final 10 games and will have the opportunity to play the role of spoiler down the stretch of the regular season. Ottawa comes in having won three in a row and four of its last five games. It will play three more games against Vancouver, which is trying to sneak into the postseason conversation. Then it will play five of its remaining six contests against Montreal, Winnipeg, and Toronto, who are all jockeying for postseason positioning in the Scotia North standings.
Murray is scheduled to be back between the pipes for the Senators on Saturday night. The 26-year-old has been a revelation since returning from injury earlier this month. Murray is 3-1-0 over his last four starts with two shutouts and a .957 save percentage. He’s won three games in a row to improve to 10-13-1 for the season but still owns an unsightly 3.39 GAA and .892 save percentage through 26 games (24 starts). In three starts versus Vancouver, Murray is 1-2-0 with a 3.67 GAA and .879 save percentage in those matchups.
Vancouver snaps winning streak with loss to lowly SenatorsAfter winning back-to-back games against the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canucks snapped their winning streak with a disappointing 3-0 loss versus the last-place Senators on Thursday. The Canucks outshot Ottawa 31 to 24 on the night and came up empty on all four of their power-play opportunities in the loss. In his first game back from Vancouver’s COVID-19 hiatus, goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 22 shots in his first action since March 24.
The Canucks are expected to be without forward Antoine Roussel for the foreseeable future. The 31-year-old will likely miss a couple of weeks after suffering a lower-body injury in Tuesday’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Thatcher Demko is scheduled to return to the crease for the Canucks on Saturday night. He comes in with a 12-13-1 overall record to go along with a 2.74 GAA and .917 save percentage in 26 starts this season.
This sequence by Thatcher Demko on the 5-on-3 penalty kill is outstanding.— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) March 11, 2020
His movements are crisp and calm as he adjusts to the passing. His positioning allows him to step forward into the shots, cutting the angle down slightly. His lateral burst is controlled as well. #Canucks pic.twitter.com/2LLjoxjSxn
However, Demko has made just one start since late March after coming down with COVID-19 during the Canucks’ outbreak. He told reporters after his last start that he was still battling fatigue and other COVID-19 symptoms, such as body aches and brain fog. The 25-year-old has had the Senators number this season. He’s made five starts against Ottawa in 2021, going 4-1-0 with a 1.58 GAA and .956 save percentage in those matchups.
- Canucks are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Ottawa comes into this game red-hot but Vancouver simply has too much to play for here. With several games in hand, the Canucks still have a puncher’s chance at making the playoffs. Vancouver’s postseason hopes will take a major nosedive if it is unable to execute against the Senators over the next few games, so the Canucks can ill afford another loss in this situation. With Murray coming off of another shutout and the Senators due for a loss after winning four of five for just the second time this season, take Vancouver to cover the puck line at home in this matchup on Saturday.
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams are projected for six goals, and even though Murray has been on fire as of late, there should still be some value on the over in this spot. The Senators have scored three goals or more in four of their last five games and they will be up against a goaltender that recently admitted that he still isn’t feeling 100 percent.. Meanwhile, the Canucks should be able to bounce back after getting shut out in their previous meeting against Ottawa on Thursday. Take this matchup to go over the projected total on Saturday evening.