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Game 28 preview: Kings @ Senators

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The reigning champs come calling in Ottawa tonight

USA TODAY Sports

How odd is it that the defending Stanley Cup Champions are probably the least threatening of the past three opponents?  The Kings come in to Ottawa on their heels, after losses to... wait... Philly and Buffalo? Really? That can't be... oh, that is actually correct. Don't confuse results with process though - LA absolutely controlled the play in both games with an absurd 68% and 76% (respectively) of 5 on 5 shot attempts.

Ottawa on the other hand, comes in several days after their win over Vancouver, with a new head coach.  Milan Michalek is still out.  Marc Methot and Patrick Wiercioch will both sit tonight as well.  MacArthur will be a game time decision due to the flu, but things didn't sound too promising this morning.  Anderson gets the start.

Here are the lines via Sylvain St-Laurent:

Greening - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Legwand - Smith - Neil
Condra - Lazar - Chiasson

Phillips - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • Dave Cameron makes his debut as head coach tonight. He'll try to do what no other coach hired mid-season by the Senators has ever done - win his first game.
  • With Michalek on IR and MacArthur likely out with the flu, I get having to put Greening back in to the lineup - but on the top line? Not inspiring early confidence there, Davey boy.
  • I mentioned how the Kings actually dominated the play against Philly and Buffalo, but it's worth mentioning those were also the two most dominant possession games the Kings have had all season.
  • Speaking of possession, the Kings are way down from last season's numbers - but they're still top 10 in the league.
  • No - seriously. You're playing an elaborate prank, right Cameron?  Clarke is actually fine and you're not putting Greening on the top line in his spot, right?
  • It's the start of a back to back for LA.  They face the Habs tomorrow night, but we're the ones who get to face Jonathan Quick.
  • Mika Zibanejad, with 7 points in the last 4 games, is on fire. I think that means he can hit three pointers from almost anywhere past the half-court line.
  • This isn't a joke, is it? Greening is actually on the first line again. Is it too early to make James Cameron/Titanic jokes?
  • Erik Karlsson has a completely absurd 23 shot attempts on Sunday night.  Not on-ice attempts, but 23 actual attempts himself. No Canuck had more than 19 on-ice attempts. The Kings only faced 23 shot attempts against in total in their last game.
  • Don't look now, but Craig Anderson has cooled recently.  He's only .913 in his last 10 games.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com.
Category Ottawa Los Angeles
Player # Player #
Goals Clarke MacArthur 9 Tyler Toffoli 10
Assists Erik Karlsson 13 Jeff Carter 11
Points Erik Karlsson 20 Tyler Toffoli 20
Shots Erik Karlsson 104 Tyler Toffoli 72
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:36 Drew Doughty 28:50

Category Ottawa Los Angeles
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.52 19th 2.54 18th
Goals Against 2.67 16th 2.04 3rd
Corsi % 48.04% 24th 52.31% 8th
Fenwick % 45.82% 28th 50.91% 15th
Shots For 28.8 24th 30.7 10th
Shots Against 34.4 29th 30.1 19th