Game 54 preview: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Ottawa Senators

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A preview of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators on 30 January 2014.

The Ottawa Senators will look to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time this season and possibly move into a playoff spot in the process. The Senators lost both games in Tampa Bay so far this season and tonight will be Tampa Bay's first game in Ottawa since Ben Bishop got traded.

There will be no changes to the lineup. Chris Phillips is still out with an injury and Craig Anderson will start again. Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent.

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

Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Gryba
Wiercioch - Ceci

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Senators can move into a playoff spot for the first time since October with a win if the Blue Jackets lose to the Capitals. Ottawa could also move into a playoff spot with a regulation win and a Blue Jackets shootout win or worse.
  • Erik Karlsson has 50 points in late January. That's a pretty great total for a defencemen at the end of the season. His -14 rating looks bad to some fans, but he has been a -7 in 5-on-5 play. The remainder are 4-on-4, empty-net goals against and shorthanded goals.
  • Karlsson has 142 points in 151 games since the start of 2011-2012. That is 21 more than any other defenceman despite missing most of last season.
  • After going 15 games without a multipoint game, Jason Spezza now has two of them in the last three games.
  • The Senators have won exactly two games out of 11 this season when Matt Kassian doesn't play.
  • The Lightning dominated the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, but like many other teams, lost due to the brilliance of Jonathan Bernier.
  • Bobby Ryan has a goal and three assists in 11 games since being left off the American Olympic team.
  • Does anyone really miss having Chris Phillips on the team? The one potential downside is that Karlsson has now become part of the #1 penalty killing unit. While it is better to save him for 5-on-5 play, Karlsson is the club's best defensive defenceman as well so it isn't a completely horrible situation.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 19 Martin St. Louis 25
Assists Erik Karlsson 38 Martin St. Louis 27
Points Erik Karlsson 50 Martin St. Louis 52
Shots Erik Karlsson 166 Martin St. Louis 143
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:23 Matthew Carle 22:07

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.79 12th 2.85 8th
Goals Against 3.04 27th 2.42 8th
Corsi Close % 51.5% 11th 51.9% 9th
Fenwick Close % 50.2% 16th 52.1% 10th
Shots For 32.7 3rd 29.8 17th
Shots Against 33.6 28th 29.2 9th
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