Game 60 preview: Daniel Alfredsson @ Erik Karlsson

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

A preview of the game between Erik Karlsson and his minions against Daniel Alfredsson and his minions.

The Ottawa Senators will play for the first time in 19 days when they host the Detroit Red Wings tonight. While most of the players had a mini-vacation, and a couple of them got engaged, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek were in Russia for the Olympics. At the Olympics, Karlsson showed why is the best defenceman in the world and possibly in the conversation for the best player in the world. Michalek's tournament wasn't as impressive but that was to be expected. Karlsson also spent the two weeks posing for pictures with Senators legend Daniel Alfredsson and the two of them will play in the same game together for possibly the last time. It could also be Alfredsson's last ever game in Ottawa.

To the game at hand, Karlsson's team will start Robin Lehner with Craig Anderson away due to the birth of his child. As expected, Patrick Wiercioch and Matt Kassian will be the healthy scratches. Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent:

Erik Karlsson

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

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Gryba
Phillips - Ceci

Lehner (starter)
Hammond

Daniel Alfredsson

Alfredsson and a bunch of other guys we don't care about as much. They played last night so the lines are uncertain. Todd Bertuzzi will not play and Jonas Gustavsson will start.

Some notes for tonight:

  • This was Erik Karlsson's Olympic experience. One guy keeps popping up.
  • A regulation win would move the Erik Karlssons within one point of a playoff spot and a regulation loss would push them five points away. Huge, huge game isn't it?
  • The Daniel Alfredssons played last night, will be playing their backup goaltender, had four guys play in Russia on Sunday and will be without Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi. Pavel Datsyuk isn't fully healthy either. The Erik Karlssons really should win this one...
  • Karlsson is currently seven points ahead of Duncan Keith for the defenceman scoring lead. Only Nicklas Backstrom, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin have more points than Karlsson on the power play.
  • Only Karlsson and Jason Spezza have more points/game this season than Alfredsson among the Erik Karlsson players.
  • Alfredsson could end up with close to 450 career goals at the end of the season. If he wants to keep going like Teemu Selanne, he might get to 500.
  • Karlsson wasn't on the ice for a single opposition goal in the Olympics. Elite goaltending is nice to have.
  • Tonight will also be the annual fundraiser for Roger's House. Eugene Melnyk in the house as well!
  • Robin Lehner shaved his hair over the break.
  • I know fans didn't want Jared Cowen on the pairing with Karlsson but that Cowen pairing with Eric Gryba has the club's two worst players in exiting the zone. Could be some anxious moments with the two of them.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Erik Karlsson Daniel Alfredsson
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 21 Henrik Zetterberg 16
Assists Erik Karlsson 40 Henrik Zetterberg 32
Points Erik Karlsson 55 Henrik Zetterberg 48
Shots Erik Karlsson 184 Henrik Zetterberg 151
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:17 Niklas Kronwawll 24:15

Category Erik Karlsson Daniel Alfredsson
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.81 9th 2.52 19th
Goals Against 3.14 28th 2.64 14th
Corsi Close % 51.5% 12th 51.6% 11th
Fenwick Close % 50.5% 16th 51.4% 12th
Shots For 32.3 4th 30.2 16th
Shots Against 34.4 29th 29.6 15th
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