After four days off, the Ottawa Senators will return to action (noooooooooooooo) when they host the Nashville Predators tonight. Ottawa is coming off a disappointing 4-2 loss in Calgary while the Predators won 9-2 (!!!) in Toronto on Tuesday.
MacArthur - Turris - Chiasson
Greening - Legwand - Ryan
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Stone
Michalek - Smith - Neil
Phillips - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba
Some notes for tonight:
- Yes, Colin Greening is on the second line. Yes Mark Borowiecki continues to stay in the lineup. At this point it is best to not get worked up over Paul MacLean's decisions.
- The Senators have amazingly stayed in a playoff spot despite not playing since Saturday. The schedule is only going to get tougher for the Senators. They need to improve or they are surely going to start dropping back.
- Focusing on the one positive in today's lines and pairings, it is nice to see Mika Zibanejad get possibly the second and third best wingers on the team right now. Hopefully this is what finally gets him going.
- Erik Karlsson continues to be third in the NHL on shots on goal with 72. He has only 12 points in 17 games but has been unlucky to get a point on only 44% of the Senators goals that he has been on the ice for. He received a point on 61% of Senators goals last year, 64% in 2012-2013 and 58% in 2011-2012. So we should expect Erik's points total to pick up.
- Karlsson has four goals, 12 points and 72 shots. The other six defencemen on the team have combined for one goal, 17 points and 86 shots.
- Colin Greening's 10 shots on goal in four games is equal to the number of shots Chris Neil has managed in 17 games. Only Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan have more shots per game than Greening.
- Erik is a +5 in his last two games so this must mean he's keeping things sound and simple defensively.
- This will be Robin Lehner's first appearance since allowing five goals to Toronto on 9 November.
- Ottawa continues to be the only team in the league that has yet to outshoot their opponent and win in the same game. The Senators are 0-1-2 when getting more shots than the opposition.
- Hopefully Chris Phillips has a better ending to the game than the last time the Predators were in Ottawa.
- Predators rookie Fillp Forsberg has an incredible 22 points in 18 games. That is a pace of 100 points over 82 games. That would be the highest points total by a rookie since Alex Ovechkin scored 106 points in 2005-2006.
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.
|Goals||Clarke MacArthur||8||Filip Forsberg||9|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||7||Filip Forsberg||13|
|Points||Clarke MacArthur||13||Filip Forsberg||22|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||72||James Neal||63|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:40||Shea Weber||27:01|