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Game 20: Ottawa Senators @ Edmonton Oilers

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The Ottawa Senators look for their third straight win when they visit the Edmonton Oilers tonight. Ottawa's coming off wins in Toronto and Calgary, has gone 2-1 so far on this road trip. One more win in any of the next three games will make it a successful road trip in my books.

After a fast start, the Oilers have lost three in a row and have been outscored 15-6 in those games. They are coming off a six-game road trip off their own and have not played since Sunday. At the start of the season, Edmonton was expected to have a lot of offensive talent and struggle on defence. However, they haven't scored a lot of goals and rank among the leaders in goals allowed despite the last three games.

The Senators have no changes to report, David Rundblad will be a healthy scratch for the third straight game.

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Stéphane Da Costa - Daniel Alfredsson
Kaspars Daugavins - Zack Smith - Erik Condra
Zenon Konopka - Jesse Winchester - Bobby Butler
Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Sergei Gonchar - Chris Phillips
Jared Cowen - Brian Lee

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

Talking points after the jump.

Here are my talking points:

  • Strong goaltending: Craig Anderson has been very good in the last two games, and the Senators won both games. Will we get another good performance?
  • Penalty kill: The penalty kill unit has been excellent for a while and have jumped to 80%. With a strong power play and a solid penalty kill, the Senators might be able to overcome their 5-on-5 scoring.
  • Karlsson still among leaders: Erik Karlsson has put together a four-game assist streak and leads all defencemen in points and is one behind Daniel Sedin for the league lead in assists. How long can he hang up there? He's also had at least two shots in each of the last 17 games.
  • Foligno surging as well: Nick Foligno has seven points in seven games in November and jumped to fifth in team scoring as well as third among forwards. He's certainly given the second line a boost.
  • Oilers struggling: As mentioned, the Oilers have allowed 15 goals in their last three games. Can the Senators take advantage of a team on a losing streak, and just returning for its first home game after a road trip?
Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Oilers:
Category Ottawa Enemy - Edmonton
Value Rank Value Rank
Goals For per game 2.79 13th 2.24 26th
Goals Against per game 3.42 28th 2.12 3rd
5 on 5 GF/GA ratio 0.64 30th 0.92 19th
Shots for per game 30.8 13th 25.2 30th
Shots against per game 30.4 17th 29.4 13th
Power play % 23.4 3rd 17.9 13th
Penalty kill % 80.0 21st 87.3 7th
Category Ottawa Enemy - Edmonton
Player Value Player Value
Points Jason Spezza 17 Ryan Smyth 17
Goals Milan Michalek 11 Ryan Smyth 10
Assists Erik Karlsson 16 Jordan Eberle 9
PP Points Erik Karlsson 9 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 7
Shots Erik Karlsson 65 Ryan Smyth 48
Hits Nick Foligno 53 Ladislav Smid 35
Avg. Ice time Erik Karlsson 25:07 Tom Gilbert 24:09
Face-offs % Jesse Winchester 58.2 Eric Belanger 57.9