Game 18 preview: Philadelphia Flyers @ Ottawa Senators

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers on 12 November 2013.

The Ottawa Senators will look to extend their season high winning streak to four games when they host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. After a tough start, the Senators have found it easier to play against the eastern conference with a 5-0-2 record against the east. The Flyers for their part have struggled with just 11 points in 16 games and sit last in the Metropolitan division. Chris Phillips will be a game time decision.

Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent:

Ottawa.

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Spezza - Conacher
Greening - Smith - Neil
Kassian - Grant - Zibanejad

Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Borowiecki
Wiercioch - Phillips/Corvo

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Here are some notes for tonight:

  • Jason Spezza is with Milan Michalek and Cory Conacher tonight. Spezza has continued to put up points but defensively he has been below average, regardless of linemates. The Senators need more from their captain.
  • Mika Zibanejad is playing with Matt Kassian and Derek Grant because...I got nothing.
  • The defence appears to be the same for the second consecutive game. Against a pretty poor Florida team, the defence didn't allow too many chances, so that was a positive.
  • Craig Anderson will play for the first time since getting injured in overtime against Dallas on 3 November. While Robin Lehner has been spectacular this season, Anderson has been merely average. Still, Anderson is the #1 goaltender on this team right now. How will he fare on his return?
  • The Senators big three are all in the top in the NHL in points. Bobby Ryan is tied for 12th with 19 points while Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris are tied for 17th with 18 points.
  • Ottawa continues to have the worst penalty kill versus power play differential in the NHL. Ottawa has been shorthanded for 40 minutes and 40 seconds more than they have been on the power play. That is almost 20 minutes more than the next worst team.
  • While shorthanded, Ottawa has killed off 86.1% of the penalties, good for 5th in the NHL. However, Ottawa is 19th in terms of 4-on-5 shots allowed. Robin Lehner has stopped 95.3% of shorthanded shots while Craig Anderson has stopped 84.9% of shorthanded shots.
  • Philadelphia has really struggled offensively this season. They are last in the NHL with 1.62 goals per game and 26th with 27.8 shots per game. No one on the Flyers has reached 10 points and Matt Read leads the team with 43 shots. Sounds like a good game for Anderson to return.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Philadelphia
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 9 Vincent Lecavalier 6
Assists Kyle Turris 14 Claude Giroux 7
Points Bobby Ryan 19 Vincent Lecavalier 8
Shots Erik Karlsson 59 Matt Read 43
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:59 Claude Giroux 22:15

Category Ottawa Philadelphia
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 3.12 6th 1.62 30th
Goals Against 2.82 19th 2.75 18th
Corsi Close % 50.5% 12th 48.1% 21st
Fenwick Close % 48.3% 20th 47.7% 22nd
Shots For 31.2 7th 27.8 26th
Shots Against 37.3 30th 29.9 16th
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