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NHL Odds: Canucks, Senators Drop the Puck on 2019

by: Staff Writer - posted on: 02-Jan-2019

The first NHL game of 2019 – on Canadian ice – starts this Wednesday when the Ottawa Senators (15-20-4) welcome the Vancouver Canucks (19-18-4) to the Canadian Tire Centre. Sportsnet and Sportsnet 360 have the coverage at 7 PM ET.

This is a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions. The Senators are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, mired in an ownership/front office quagmire and riddled with injuries. Meanwhile, the Canucks are climbing back towards respectability after three years of awful hockey; they're healthy for the most part, and they have this year's hottest rookie in centre Elias Pettersson (19 goals, 20 assists in 35 games). He leads Vancouver in scoring after dominating the Swedish Hockey League in 2017-18, earning their Rookie of the Year and playoff MVP awards.

Arguably the biggest on-ice concern for Ottawa right now is the health of veteran netminder Craig Anderson (.905 save percentage). He suffered a concussion heading into the holidays and is listed as day-to-day; Mike McKenna (.897 SV%) and Marcus Hogberg (.875 SV%) have started games in Anderson's absence. Top blueliner Thomas Chabot (10 goals, 28 assists in 38 games) is also out for the next three weeks with an undisclosed upper-body injury.