Game 8 preview: Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers on 19 October 2013.

The Ottawa Senators will look to extrend their winning streak to three games when they host the Edmonton Oilers this afternoon. After scoring only 11 goals in their first five games, the Senators have scored nine goals in their last two wins. Defensively the team is still struggling badly, incredibly allowing an average of 42 shots per game this season.

Robin Lehner will start for the Senators and he will be hoping for a much improved defensive performance from the team. Lehner has faced 97 shots in under two games. Ottawa has not skated since since calling up Derek Grant, so it is unclear how the lines will look at the start of the game. Here is my guess assuming Grant plays. However that could be the wrong assumption because of this and because as always the best players play.

Ottawa

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Spezza - Conacher
Smith - Pageau - Condra
Greening - Grant - Neil

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Wiercioch
Phillips - Gryba

Lehner (starter)
Anderson

Edmonton (from @EdmontonOilers)

Hall - Arcobello - Perron
Yakupov - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
Gazdic/Jones - Acton - Brown

N. Schultz - Ference
Petry - Smid
J. Schultz - Belov

Dubnyk (starter)
LaBarbera

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Senators have been outshot by 11.1 shots per game, which is almost 2 shots worse than the next lowest team, the Buffalo Sabres. After outshooting the Sabres in the season opener, Ottawa has been outshot by 6, 7, 27, 25, 5 and 19 shots in the last six games.
  • Bobby Ryan has a goal in four of his last five games. Jason Spezza has had consecutive three point games. Despite playing very well, Kyle Turris has only two assists in his last five games. Chris Neil and Matt Kassian are the only forwards on the team without a point.
  • Jared Cowen at this point in time is not being given any power play time. His 50 seconds of total time with the man advantage ranks sixth out of seven defenceman. Erik Karlsson tends to play the entire two minutes with only three defencemen (Karlsson, Patrick Wiercioch and Chris Phillips) having more than two minutes of total power play time on the season.
  • Jason Spezza is running into some great fortune recently with four goals in his last two games. Three of the four goals have been into an empty net in some way.
  • Kyle Turris leads all forwards in average ice time per game and he isn't far behind Jason Spezza in average even strength ice time. He truly is making a strong claim to be the #1 centre.
  • Clarke MacArthur doesn't have a goal yet but he is tied for second on the team with 21 shots, only two behind Bobby Ryan.
  • In 82 minutes of Turris and MacArthur together on 5-on-5, the Senators have outscored the opposition 7-2 and had 104 attempts on goal while allowing only 65. All of this is done by being on the ice for 24% of offensive zone face-offs, 31% in the neutral zone and 45% in the defensive zone.
  • The Oilers have struggled badly largely due to horrific goaltending. They are already seven points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. Devan Dubnyk has allowed 4.91 goals per game and has a save percentage of 85.4%.
  • Edmonton's two leaders in ice time are forwards. This has to be pretty rare.
  • The Western Conference has won 32 out of 50 games against the East. The Oilers are responsible for five of those 18 losses.
  • Some of us will again be in section 323 rows K and L if anyone wants to say hello.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Edmonton
Player # Player #
Goals Jason Spezza 5 Boyd Gordon 4
Assists Kyle Turris 5 Mark Arcobello 8
Points Jason Spezza 8 Taylor Hall 8
Shots Bobby Ryan 23 Taylor Hall 29
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:22 Taylor Hall 22:41

Category Ottawa Edmonton
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.86 12th 2.75 13th
Goals Against 2.86 22nd 4.38 30th
Corsi Close % 50.9% 12th 50.8% 13th
Fenwick Close % 47.7% 19th 49.2% 16th
Shots For 30.9 14th 28.5 22nd
Shots Against 42.0 30th 29.8 13th
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