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Game 18 preview: Nashville Predators @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators on 20 November 2014.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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.

The Senators will make a couple of changes with Colin Greening replacing Curtis Lazar while Robin Lehner will start in net. Here are the lines and pairings for the Senators from Sylvain St-Laurent.

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

Phillips - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba

Lehner (starter)
Anderson

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.

Category Ottawa Nashville
Player # Player #
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

Category Ottawa Nashville
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.71 13th 2.83 9th
Goals Against 2.53 12th 2.00 2nd
Corsi % 47.36% 26th 52.66% 7th
Fenwick % 45.35% 28th 52.31% 10th
Shots For 30.0 16th 29.6 20th
Shots Against 34.8 28th 28.1 8th