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Game 56 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins on 3 February 2014.

USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators start a tough week with a game against Captain Douchebag and the Penguins in Pittsburgh tonight. The Penguins are a very impressive 22-4-0 at home and 15-1-0 in the last 16 at home. The Senators did rout them 5-0 in their meeting in Ottawa in December, so there is that at least.

Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent and Craig Anderson will start in net again.

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Spezza - Zibanejad
Greening - Smith - Neil
Conacher - Da Costa - Condra

Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Gryba
Wiercioch - Ceci

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • Saturday was the fifth time Craig Anderson has allowed five or more goals. He has bounced back with a save percentage of 89.2% in the four previous games following those games. He has been better in the 15 (!!!) previous times that he has allowed four or more goals, posting a save percentage of 91.0%. On the other hand, he did shutout Pittsburgh last time.
  • Chris Phillips is out again. He will also not play in St. Louis tomorrow. He has not really been missed.
  • Sidney Crosby is "only" a point per game in 25 games against Ottawa, which is a lot lower than he is against other teams. Erik Karlsson has been very good against him recently.
  • The Senators are likely going to have to score quite a bit to keep up tonight. The Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza line cannot be shutout again for Ottawa to win.
  • The Senators can move into a tie on points for the last playoff spot with a win and either a Columbus or Detroit regulation loss.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Pittsburgh
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 20 Sidney Crosby 27
Assists Erik Karlsson 38 Sidney Crosby 48
Points Erik Karlsson 51 Sidney Crosby 75
Shots Erik Karlsson 171 Sidney Crosby 176
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:18 Paul Martin 24:24

Category Ottawa Pittsburgh
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.84 8th 3.13 4th
Goals Against 3.09 27th 2.40 7th
Corsi Close % 51.7% 10th 50.1% 15th
Fenwick Close % 50.5% 15th 51.7% 11th
Shots For 32.5 3rd 30.4 15th
Shots Against 33.8 28th 27.8 5th