Game 53 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Cory Conacher gets caught on the end of Mark Letestu's stick and his feet can't reach the ice during the last game against Columbus - USA Today Sports

Rolling in to #Lumbus for the third and final regular season matchup between the Sens and Blue Jackets

A win today won't get the Senators into a playoff spot, but it could move them within a point, or be necessary to keep pace depending on the other games tonight.  The Blue Jackets could move into the playoffs with a win tonight, again depending on other results, so it should be a game between two hungry opponents.

Patrick Wiercioch is in for Chris Phillips, and Craig Anderson is the starter.

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

Cowen - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Methot - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes:

  • There are 10 teams you could consider on the wild card bubble in the East right now, with only six points between the high and low points. Nine of those teams play tonight, in six games.  It's an important night for some early score board watching.
  • Craig Anderson has posted a SV% of 0.935 at 5 on 5 close since December 3rd.  That would be good for 11th in the league if it were a full season percentage.  Lehner?  0.950.
  • Bobby Ryan has assists in the last two games, which is good, but it'd sure be nice to see him score some goals too.
  • Erik Karlsson was kept off the score board that game.  It's rare he goes two games in a row doing that.
  • After 8 wins in a row, Columbus has now dropped 2 straight. Here's hoping for 3 in a row.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Columbus
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 19 Ryan Johansen 19
Assists Erik Karlsson 37 James Wisniewski 27
Points Erik Karlsson 49 Ryan Johansen 38
Shots Erik Karlsson 161 Cam Atkinson 145
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:25 Jack Johnson 23:43

Category Ottawa Columbus
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.79 12th 2.85 10th
Goals Against 3.06 27th 2.83 18th
Corsi Close % 51.5% 12th 51.5% 11th
Fenwick Close % 50.3% 16th 50.9% 12th
Shots For 32.8 3rd 28.7 23rd
Shots Against 33.6 28th 30.5 22nd
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