Game 45 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Colorado Avalanche

Richard Wolowicz

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche on 8 January 2014.

The Ottawa Senators will look for their longest winning streak in almost a year when they visit the Colorado Avalanche tonight. Winners of four in a row, Ottawa is looking to win five straight for the first time since February 2013. Their recent streak has moved them to within two points of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final playoff spot meaning Ottawa can move level on points with a win tonight.

Jason Spezza will return tonight with Jean-Gabriel Pageau sitting. Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent.

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Spezza - Stone
Conacher - Zibanejad - Michalek
Kassian - Smith - Condra

Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Gryba
Phillips - Ceci

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • Ottawa is 12-3-6 when Matt Kassian plays and 7-15-1 when he doesn't. It's science people.
  • The Senators went 4-0-0 in their captain's absence. Can they keep it up on his return?
  • Both Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek knew they were going to the Olympics for a while, but nevertheless it is their first game since being named. Erik is going to get quite an upgrade for a partner in a few weeks with Jared Cowen likely being replaced with Oliver-Ekman Larsson.
  • The Senators certainly score a lot of goals when Craig Anderson plays. They have won both of the last two games despite Anderson allowing three goals in each of them. That was the sixth time this season that the Senators have won in games that Anderson has allowed three or more goals. In the 26 games that Anderson has played at least 30 minutes, Ottawa has scored 86 goals or 3.31 per game. In the other 18 games, they have scored 39 goals for Robin Lehner or 2.17 per game.
  • Matt Kassian had his first ever regular season assist in his 64th game against Montreal on Saturday. Mark Stone had his first career goal on the same play.
  • Since Karlsson's gift to Clarke MacArthur against Washington, MacArthur has scored in each of the following two games as well.
  • Jason Spezza is on pace for 59 points this season if he doesn't miss any more games.
  • Marc Methot has really cut down on the penalties with only 14 penalty minutes in 39 games so far.
  • Russian Olympian Semyon Varlamov has had a spectacular season so far, posting a 92.7 save percentage in 32 games. Their top three scorers will also be going to the Olympics with Matt Duchene (Canada), Gabriel Landeskog (Sweden) and Paul Stastny (United States) all looking forward to the greatest hockey competition in the world.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Colorado
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 18 Matt Duchene 16
Assists Erik Karlsson 29 Matt Duchene 22
Points Erik Karlsson 39 Matt Duchene 38
Shots Erik Karlsson 135 Matt Duchene 122
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:17 Erik Johnson 22:45

Category Ottawa Colorado
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.84 11th 2.88 8th
Goals Against 3.09 27th 2.50 12th
Corsi Close % 50.5% 13th 48.4% 24th
Fenwick Close % 49.5% 17th 47.6% 23rd
Shots For 33.1 2nd 29.3 21st
Shots Against 34.0 27th 31.8 24th
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