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Game 3 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Florida Panthers

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers on 13 October 2014.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

After blowing a 1-0 lead going into the third period in Nashville, the Senators came from 1-0 behind in the third to win 3-2 in a shootout in Tampa Bay. The Senators will look to make it a successful road trip to start the season when they visit the winless Panthers tonight. Ottawa will make four changes to the lineup with Jared Cowen, Curtis Lazar and Mike Hoffman being healthy scratches. They will be replaced by Patrick Wiercioch (!!!), Erik Condra and Colin Greening. Craig Anderson will also return in goal in the place of Robin Lehner.

Here are the lines and pairings from Sylvain St-Laurent.

Ottawa

MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Ryan - Zibanejad - Chiasson
Michalek - Legwand - Neil
Greening - Smith - Condra

Phillips - Karlsson
Borowiecki - Gryba
Wiercioch - Ceci

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

And here are the lines and pairings for the Panthers from their team website.

Florida

Huberdeau - Barkov - Jokinen
Upshall - Bjugstad - Boyes
Bergenheim - Bolland - Fleischmann
Kopecky - MacKenzie - Thornton

Mitchell - Kulikov
Campbell - Ekblad
Olsen - Gudbranson

Luongo (starter)
Montoya

Some notes for tonight:

  • Wiercioch is in! Our saviour. Also nice to see Condra in for Lazar and although Greening for Hoffman is a bit disappointing, two out of three isn't bad.
  • Chris Phillips on the top pairing could be...adventurous, though not sure if that is any worse than having Jared Cowen there.
  • Speaking of Cowen, it took a lot longer than two games to see him healthy scratched last year didn't it? He is still under contract for another two years after this one, so I am sure he will get plenty of chances to come good.
  • The new look of the top two lines happened by accident according to Paul MacLean in his post game scrum. Bobby Ryan and Mika Zibanejad were playing on the penalty kill with Alex Chiasson in the box, when Chiasson came out that line scored. Shortly after Mark Stone scored from a Kyle Turris pass so here we are with those lines.
  • Patrick Wiercioch is getting a good chance to impress against the weakest of the three opponents in the lineup. Got to hope he doesn't give MacLean any excuse to scratch him again.
  • Alex Chiasson has looked really good throughout preseason and the first two games of the regular season. He's looking like a solid top six player so far.
  • The Panthers attendance for their home opener was 11,419 on Saturday against New Jersey. Wonder what it will be on a Monday night against Ottawa after a 5-1 loss.

Here are some stats from last season for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com

Category Ottawa Florida
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 1 Derek MacKenzie 2
Assists Clarke MacArthur 1 Brian Campbell 2
Points Kyle Turris 2 Derek MacKenzie 2
Shots Erik Karlsson 7 Erik Gudbranson 6
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:05 Dmitry Kulikov 24:31

Category Ottawa Florida
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.00 23rd 1.50 26th
Goals Against 2.50 12th 4.00 22nd
Corsi Close % 40.69% 25th 42.31% 23rd
Fenwick Close % 38.26% 25th 44.07% 22nd
Shots For 27.0 20th 25.0 25th
Shots Against 38.5 28th 28.0 13th