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Game 47 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Minnesota Wild

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Minnesota Wild on 14 January 2014.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will try to win consecutive games for the first time since three games ago when they visit the Minnesota Wild tonight. Ottawa has gone 5-0-1 since being routed 5-0 in Boston. Robin Lehner will start for the first time since that loss in Boston.

Patrick Wiercioch will return to the lineup for the first time in 17 years. Good luck charm Matt Kassian will also return in the place of Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent.

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

Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Ceci
Wiercioch - Phillips

Lehner (starter)

Some talking points for tonight:

  • Ottawa sits two points behind Detroit and Philadelphia for the last two playoff spots. Both clubs have played 46 games like Ottawa. Philadelphia plays Buffalo while Detroit is idle.
  • With Wiercioch returning, Ottawa has a defenceman capable of exiting the zone with possession on every pairing. That seems like a good idea.
  • While Robin Lehner has clearly been the better goalie on the team, Ottawa hasn't won much with him due to an inexplicable failure to score for Lehner.
  • When Erik Karlsson was on the ice, 5-on-5 shot attempts were 24-11 for Ottawa on Saturday. With Karlsson off the ice, they were 33-25 for Nashville. Put another way, Ottawa had 69% of shot attempts with Karlsson on and 43% with Karlsson off.
  • The Wild will be without the injured Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Josh Harding.
  • Is Karlsson producing less offensively because of bad luck or because he feels less confident in taking risks with a replacement level partner?
  • After a long and honest discussion with Amelia, we concluded that the Senators will in fact win this game and that Karlsson is likely to score three goals.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Minnesota
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 18 Jason Pominville 18
Assists Erik Karlsson 31 Mikko Koivu 27
Points Erik Karlsson 41 Mikko Koivu 35
Shots Erik Karlsson 139 Zach Parise 144
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:17 Ryan Suter 29:38

Category Ottawa Minnesota
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.80 10th 2.33 25th
Goals Against 3.06 27th 2.40 9th
Corsi Close % 50.8% 12th 49.5% 17th
Fenwick Close % 49.6% 16th 49.5% 17th
Shots For 32.8 3rd 27.1 23rd
Shots Against 34.0 27th 27.4 5th