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Game 24 preview: Ottawa Senators @ New York Islanders

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders on 2 December 2014.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to finish a disappointing road trip on a positive note when they visit the surging New York Islanders. Ottawa has lost three of the first four games on its current road trip while the Islanders have won 10 out of their last 12 games.

The Senators will make two changes to the lineup with Zack Smith and Mark Borowiecki returning to the lineup for Colin Greening and Patrick Wiercioch. Craig Anderson will start.

Here are the lines and pairings for the Senators from Sylvain St-Laurent.

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

Borowiecki - Karlsson
Phillips - Gryba
Cowen - Ceci

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • Ottawa is three points behind the last wild card spot and a whopping nine points behind third place in the division. If they are going to make the playoffs, it's looking increasingly likely that it is only possible as a wild card.
  • The Senators are still allowing a ton of shots but not winning as much any more. This is because the goaltenders' save percentage has dropped significantly. I can only conclude that this is because the Senators are no longer keeping the shots to the outside and clearing the net like they used to.
  • There was a bit of panic on twitter this morning when Erik Karlsson wasn't present at practice. Thankfully the greatest player in club history will indeed play tonight.
  • On the down side, Mark Borowiecki is back in the lineup. *audible groan* Chris Phillips is also still around. *screams*
  • So the Senators have no chance tonight right?
  • While there is a lot of talk about the Senators defensive game, they are also now 25th in shots for per game.
  • I am sure there is a reason to be hopeful for the Senators for the rest of the season but I haven't thought of it. Yes this is a depressing preview, oh well. In my defence, I am also quite busy at work.
  • 11 of Karlsson's 17 points have been on the power play. Probably because Borowiecki and Phillips aren't with him on the power play am I right!?

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 New York
Player # Player #
Goals Clarke MacArthur 8 John Tavares 10
Assists Erik Karlsson 11 Kyle Okposo 16
Points Erik Karlsson 17 John Tavares 23
Shots Erik Karlsson 89 Kyle Okposo 77
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:45 Johnny Boychuk 22:09

Category Ottawa New York
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.56 20th 3.00 6th
Goals Against 2.65 16th 2.71 17th
Corsi % 47.57% 26th 53.10% 5th
Fenwick % 45.33% 29th 54.94% 3rd
Shots For 28.9 25th 33.0 3rd
Shots Against 35.2 29th 28.8 11th