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Game 7 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Chicago Blackhawks

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks on 26 October 2014.

Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto

Despite losing in overtime to the New Jersey Devils last night, the Ottawa Senators delivered their best performance of the season. The Senators controlled the play in the first and third periods and were rather unfortunate not to win the game in regulation. Tonight the Senators will go on the road to play one of the league's powerhouse teams, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Both the Sens and Blackhawks played last night so there was no morning skate. Craig Anderson will start for Ottawa. Here are how the teams lined up last night.

UPDATE: Erik Condra and Colin Greening will replace Curtis Lazar and Mark Stone. Here's are the lines from the Senators website.

Ottawa

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

Phillips - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Chicago

Sharp - Toews - Kane
Versteeg - Shaw - Kane
Bickell - Richards - Saad
Morin - Kruger - Smith

Keith - Seabrook
Hjalmarsson - Oduya
Rozsival - van Riemsdyk

Darling (starter)
Raanta

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson is now on a five game points streak. He has two goals, three assists and 28 shots in that span.
  • Karlsson was moved to partner with Patrick Wiercioch in the third period and the results were great as expected. MacLean has shown the tendency to do this when the Senators are trailing in the third period.
  • Bobby Ryan was also moved to the top line. Is this where he might start tonight?
  • Mika Zibanejad is still looking for his first point of the season and has only seven shots on goal in seven games. This has led to some calling for Zibanejad to be sent to the AHL.
  • Things are about to get tougher for the Senators in the scheduling department, with two of the next three games against Chicago followed by a game against Boston.
  • Last night was the first game this season a Senators goaltender stopped less than 90% of the shots faced.
  • After starting the season 4-0-1, the Blackhawks have lost a pair of games by 3-2 scores in regulation.
  • Last season, Ottawa led 4-2 in Chicago before eventually losing 6-5 in regulation.
  • Milan Michalek's two assists last night were his first two points of the season.

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 Chicago
Player # Player #
Goals Erik Karlsson 2 Patrick Sharp 3
Assists Erik Karlsson 3 Patrick Sharp 5
Points Erik Karlsson 5 Patrick Sharp 8
Shots Erik Karlsson 30 Patrick Sharp 31
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:21 Duncan Keith 26:10

Category Ottawa Chicago
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.50 19th 2.71 15th
Goals Against 2.17 10th 1.86 3rd
Corsi Close % 44.59% 26th 55.48% 2nd
Fenwick Close % 41.47% 29th 54.87% 6th
Shots For 29.2 20th 37.0 1st
Shots Against 34.5 27th 26.4 4th