The Ottawa Senators may just be what the doctor ordered for Vegas.
The Golden Knights (41-17-5) lost their second straight game against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday — also their third loss in five games. They meet the Senators (21-31-10) at T-Mobile on Friday as prohibitive -280 favorites before heading out on a five-game road trip in the eastern time zone (odds provided by Bovada.)
Ottawa is the third worst team in the NHL. They are currently 29th out of 31 clubs and just six points out of dead last. The Senators have lost five straight and are 7-18-5 on the road this season.
The biggest news of this week’s trade deadline for Ottawa wasn’t the move they made. It was the move they didn’t make that caught most of the attention. The Senators tried but failed to deal two-time Norris Trophy winner Eric Karlsson — a defenseman that would be coveted by every other team in the league, including Vegas.
A year after being a final four team, the Senators are a mess. General manager Pierre Dorion is in cost-cutting mode, trying to deal players left, right and center. His next step this June will be to try and deal Karlsson again or resign him in July.
At some point, this team needs to start concentrating on hockey and winning a game. The Senators have lost seven on their last nine and are in the midst of a four-game road trip. They rank near the bottom of the league in just about every important category, including goals against (30th), power play (27th) and penalty killing (28th).
Mark Stone leads the team in scoring with 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points. Karlsson (44) and Mike Hoffman (42) are the only other players with more than 40 points for the Senators.
The Golden Knights and Senators have already played once this season when Vegas edged Ottawa 5-4 on Nov. 4 at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
A loss to the Senators would be the third time this season the Golden Knights have lost three straight games. They need to get back to their winning ways as teams bunch up for the top spots in the NHL standings.
On Tuesday against the Kings, backup goalie Maxime Lagace stopped 26 shots for the Golden Knights in his first start since Dec. 9, when he won at Dallas. William Karlsson scored the Vegas goal.
The Golden Knights are 0-2 since the NHL trade deadline when they added Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings and Ryan Reaves from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Reaves played in both games against Los Angeles, while Tatar made his debut Tuesday.
The crowd of 18,328 at T-Mobile was the second largest for a Golden Knights’ home game.
Vegas has 19 games left in the season. They need to beat up on the lousy teams, especially this time of year before they take off for a lengthy road trip.
VGB’s pick — Vegas (-280), Over (6)