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Game 59 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Boston Bruins

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins on 8 February 2014.

USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators can move into a playoff spot with a win over the Boston Bruins pending the outcome of the game Red Wings/Lightning game later in the evening. The Bruins will be without Zdeno Chara who left early to carry the flag for Slovakia in Sochi.

The Senators will make one change with Matt Kassian playing for the demoted Stephane Da Costa. Craig Anderson will start again. Here are the lines from yesterday's practice:

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

Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Gryba
Wiercioch - Ceci

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

A few notes:

  • Erik Karlsson appears to be in the form of his life. He is dominant in every area of the game right now.
  • A lot has been made of the Senators struggles in the afternoon, but they have a big opportunity today without Chara.
  • With Da Costa gone, Mika Zibanejad will return to centre. If those lines hold true in the game, that line has the potential to be the best one.
  • Patrick Wiercioch and Cody Ceci have really been used sparingly. Paul MacLean is leaning heavily on his top four with Chris Phillips out.
  • Jason Spezza has 12 points in his last nine games. He is on fire.
  • Sorry for the late preview, I am not ready for afternoon games either.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Boston
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 20 Reilly Smith 18
Assists Erik Karlsson 39 David Krejci 35
Points Erik Karlsson 54 David Krejci 48
Shots Erik Karlsson 182 Patrice Bergeron 153
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:19 Zdeno Chara 24:57

Category Ottawa Boston
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.83 8th 3.00 5th
Goals Against 3.07 27th 2.14 2nd
Corsi Close % 51.6% 11th 54.0% 4th
Fenwick Close % 50.6% 15th 53.7% 4th
Shots For 32.4 4th 31.5 6th
Shots Against 34.3 29th 29.2 10th