Game 34 preview: Los Angeles Kings @ Ottawa Senators

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Los Angeles Kings on 14 December 2013.

The Ottawa Senators will look to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month when they host the Los Angeles Kings this afternoon. Since a three game winning streak between 5 and 9 November, the Senators have lost every game following their five wins in that span. Meanwhile the Kings have won five in a row and are five points behind Chicago for first overall in the league with two games in hand.

The Senators are expected to make no lineup changes with Marc Méthot still sick although he is a game time decision. Craig Anderson will start again. Here are the lines:

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

Corvo - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Wiercioch - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • The clubs met in Los Angeles on 9 October with the Kings jumping out to a 3-0 lead. The Senators came back to tie it before losing 4-3 in overtime.
  • Ottawa has a chance to move within a point of Toronto before the Leafs host Chicago this evening.
  • What does Cody Ceci have for an encore tonight? It might not be an exaggeration to say he played a better game than any Ottawa defender not named Erik Karlsson has all season. Certainly better than any of Jared Cowen's games.
  • The Senators did what they had to against an easy set of opponents going 3-1-2 in their last six. Their next eight opponents are the Kings, Blues, Devils, Panthers, Coyotes, Penguins, Bruins and the Bruins again. This is not going to be easy.
  • Craig Anderson allowed less than two goals for the first time in almost two months on Thursday. He might need something similar against a very tight Kings team.
  • With his two points on Thursday, Bobby Ryan took over the team scoring lead. His line was very impressive to everyone but coach Paul MacLean. Ryan along with Turris received under nine minutes of even strength ice time, six minutes less than Zack Smith who was killed by the Sabres. It was just another odd case in a season of MacLean coaching for both teams.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Los Angeles
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 15 Justin Williams 11
Assists Erik Karlsson 21 Mike Richards 21
Points Bobby Ryan 30 Anze Kopitar 27
Shots Erik Karlsson 101 Justin Williams 90
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:44 Drew Doughty 25:51

Category Ottawa Los Angeles
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.82 9th 2.59 17th
Goals Against 3.06 25th 1.91 1st
Corsi Close % 50.3% 12th 56.4% 2nd
Fenwick Close % 49.0% 20th 55.2% 4th
Shots For 33.2 3rd 31.1 9th
Shots Against 34.4 27th 26.6 4th
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