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
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.
|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|
|Corsi Close %||51.6%||11th||54.0%||4th|
|Fenwick Close %||50.6%||15th||53.7%||4th|