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Game 4 Preview: Colorado Avalanche @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators on 16 October, 2014.

Michalek, shown imitating his dive in importance to the team
Michalek, shown imitating his dive in importance to the team
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After letting us all down against the Predators, the Senators are now on a two-game win streak, having won both games in Florida. On Saturday, the Sens beat Lightning 3-2 in the shootout, and on Monday, the Sens beat the Panthers 1-0, both on the backs of impressive goaltending performances. So far this season, Craig Anderson has a save percentage of .955, and Robin Lehner has a save percentage of .950. The only change from the lineup against Florida is that Curtis Lazar will draw back in over Colin Greening.

Here are the lines and pairings from Brent Wallace.

Ottawa

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

Phillips - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

And here are the lines and pairings for the Avalanche from NHL.com.

Colorado

McGinn - Duchene - Iginla
Landeskog - O'Reilly - Everberg
Tanguay - MacKinnon - Briere
McLeod - Mitchell - Talbot

Holden - Johnson
Hejda - Barrie
Stuart - Redmond

Varlamov (starter)
Berra

 

Some notes for tonight:

  • Milan Michalek has been demoted to the fourth line. Looking at the younger, better choices for wingers, I'm not surprised. But how good does that 3-year, $12-milllion extension look now?
  • Chris Phillips is playing with Erik Karlsson on the top pairing again. And here I thought this was a combination that would only get made when the Assistant Coach was in charge in NHL 14.
  • Lazar is in for Greening, and the #fancystats have not been nice to him so far this season. Let's see if playing with someone other than Chris Neil helps out his cause.
  • Speaking of Neil, he's playing with David Legwand, who already hasn't looked very good to me yet. Kind of like Michalek, I'm wondering if his signing impedes the progress of younger players at a cost a budget team can't afford. 
  • Patrick Wiercioch is in for the second straight game. When the alternative is Jared Cowen, I can see why. I really hope when Methot comes back, they take out either Eric Gryba or Mark Borowiecki.
  • Mike Hoffman will sit again. Poor guy, I think he's looked alright despite some poor linemates thus far. I expect Lazar will be gone after nine games, and then Hoff should get a legitimate shot.
  • The Sens are on a two-game win streak. Can they make it three against the Avs?
  • Because of the problems with time difference, I'll miss the first two periods of this game. I'm torn between hoping for a blow out so I don't have to worry by the third, and hoping for a close game so the third is exciting.
  • Many of the Silver Seven crew will be at the game tonight. Cheer hard ladies and gentlemen!

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

UPDATE: The Avalanche have placed Semyon Varlamov on IR with a groin injury. Reto Berra is expected to start, with Calvin Pickard recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters expected to play backup.

 

Category Ottawa Colorado
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris and 3 others 1 Matt Duchene and 3 others 1
Assists Kyle Turris 2 Jarome Iginla 2
Points Kyle Turris 3 Duchene, Iginla, and Jamie McGinn  2
Shots Erik Karlsson 11 Ryan O'Reilly 14
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:11 Nick Holden 22:05

 

Category Ottawa Colorado
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 1.67 27th 1.00 29th
Goals Against 1.67 2nd 3.00 16th
Corsi Close % 39.18% 27th 42.60% 26th
Fenwick Close % 37.25% 28th 41.71% 26th
Shots For 25.7 24th 25.0 25th
Shots Against 35.7 27th 37.5 29th