Game 9: Ottawa Senators @ Carolina Hurricanes

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After a dramatic 4-3 win over Columbus, the Senators will look for their first road victory of the season. Tonight's opponent is the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes have lost five of their eight games like the Senators, but sit two points ahead of Ottawa due to overtime losses. The only change tonight has Kaspars Daugavins replacing the injured Daniel Alfredsson.

Here are the lines courtesy of Sylvaint St-Lareunt and Allen Panzeri.

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Mika Zibanejad - Kaspars Daugavins
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Zenon Konopka - Stéphane Da Costa - Jesse Winchester

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Sergei Gonchar - Jared Cowen
Chris Phillips - David Rundblad

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

Stats and talking points after the jump.

Here are my talking points:

  • Zibanejad's ninth game: Let's get the big one out of the way. Is this going to be Mika Zibanejad's last game for the Senators this season?  The decision could go either way, Bryan Murray and Paul MacLean are not going to make the decision before they have to.
  • Daugavins replaces Alfredsson: As you may have heard, Daniel Alfredsson did not make the trip due to a minor hip injury. In his place will be Kaspars Daugavins. Daugavins has 4 goals and 2 assists in 7 games so far for Binghamton. In only his second career NHL game, you know he is going to want to impress.
  • Spezza, Michalek and Karlsson: These three are among the leaders in major statistical categories. Jason Spezza is currently third in the NHL in points and could jump into the lead with a huge night, sitting four points behind Phil Kessel.  A Milan Michalek hat trick would put him level on goals with the league leading Kessel. Erik Karlsson continues to lead the league in assists and is also leading the defencemen in points. He is one assist ahead of Spezza for the league lead.
  • Lethal power play, brutal penalty kill: The Senators have the 3rd ranked power play in the NHL but the 29th ranked penalty kill. Senators games have a lot of goals scored in them.
  • Seven straight losses in Carolina: The Senators haven't won in Carolina in almost four years. The last one coming on 12 December 2007.
  • Rundblad's streak: David Rundblad's streak of not being on the ice for a goal against is now at four straight games.

Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Hurricanes:

Category Ottawa Enemy - Carolina
Value Rank Value Rank
Goals For per game 2.88 8th 2.75 13th
Goals Against per game 4.25 30th 3.38 27th
5 on 5 GF/GA ratio 0.48 30th 0.82 23th
Shots for per game 29.8 15th 29.2 16th
Shots against per game 31.6 22nd 33.4 29th
Power play % 29.0 3rd 14.3 20th
Penalty kill % 69.2 29th 79.0 21st
Category Ottawa Enemy - Carolina
Player Value Player Value
Points Jason Spezza 11 Jeff Skinner 9
Goals Milan Michalek 6 Jeff Skinner 3
Assists Erik Karlsson 8 Jeff Skinner 6
PP Points Milan Michalek 6 Jussi Jokinen 4
Shots Jason Spezza 25 Eric Staal 28
Hits Chris Neil 29 Chad LaRose 17
Avg. Ice time Erik Karlsson 24:18 Joni Pitkanen 24:37
Face-offs % Zenon Konopka 60.0 Brandon Sutter 55.3
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