The Ottawa Senators will try once again to win consecutive games for the first time since 9 November when they visit the New Jersey Devils. After seeing that winning streak end at three games, Ottawa lost in the next six games following a win as well. Will the eighth time be the charm?
The Senators will start Robin Lehner (the second greatest goaltender in NHL history) while Eric Gryba and Marc Methot will be the healthy scratches. Here are the lines and pairings:
MacArthur - Spezza - Michalek
Zibanejad - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Smith - Neil
Conacher - Pageau - Condra
Cowen - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Wiercioch - Corvo
Some notes for tonight:
- A couple of journalists have noted that Marc Methot was being considered for the Olympics and now he is a healthy scratch. Paul MacLean's explanation is that he doesn't want to change a winning lineup. He never does that right!? Still, as far as MacLean's decisions go, I think he's made stranger ones so it isn't that big a deal with a back-to-back coming up.
- Robin Lehner is good at goaltending. Martin Brodeur is not. Unless the Devils significantly outplay the Senators, I like the chances of an Ottawa victory tonight.
- Despite the Devils dressing Cam Janssen, Paul MacLean resisted the urge to play our face-puncher. Combine that with the starting goalie, the top six forwards and no one good playing with Zack Smith and Chris Neil and I am just in a I love Paul MacLean kind of mood.
- The Senators can move to within a point of the Leafs of a playoff spot with a win tonight. It's been a long road to recovery, but there is daylight.
- Ottawa has lead after the second period in only eight of their 14 wins.
- While the team is now second in the NHL in shots per game, they are a full three shots per game behind the first place San Jose Sharks. #2 isn't so bad though is it?
- The Kings, Blues, Devils have been the Senators last three opponents and rank 5th, 2nd and 1st in shots allowed respectively.
Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.
|Goals||Bobby Ryan||16||Jaromir Jagr||11|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||22||Jaromir Jagr||17|
|Points||Bobby Ryan||32||Jaromir Jagr||28|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||109||Jaromir Jagr||80|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:42||Andy Greene||24:48|
|Corsi Close %||50.6%||14th||53.8%||5th|
|Fenwick Close %||49.2%||19th||52.8%||8th|