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Game 69 preview: Lightning @ Senators

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Pressure has to be off now, right?

Craig Anderson's attempt at break dance goaltending goes horrible wrong during Tampa's last visit to Ottawa
Craig Anderson's attempt at break dance goaltending goes horrible wrong during Tampa's last visit to Ottawa

Well, after the last three games the playoffs are looking like a pipe dream. SportsClubStats puts the odds at 2.7%, and has a graph showing the decline in Ottawa's chances. Rather than post a dry, boring graph, I instead present a more artistic representation of how the playoff chances have dropped:

With Craig Anderson still injured, Robin Lehner starts again. Matt Kassian and Patrick Wiercioch will be the healthy scratches again. The only change comes with Andrew Hammond replacing Nathan Lawson as the backup. Here are the lines in order of Tuesday's EV TOI:

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Spezza - Hemsky
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Condra
Greening - Smith - Neil

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Gryba
Phillips - Ceci

Lehner (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Robin Lehner has continued his terrible stretch. With the pressure of the season likely gone, does he bounce back?
  • This is the first time Lehner has started four games in a row in his NHL career
  • It's been almost 2 weeks since Ottawa won a game
  • Not much consolation, but Ottawa had 10 different players make the score sheet on Tuesday. Most games, that would be enough to indicate a win.
  • The Lightning are in a fight with Montreal and (somewhat) Toronto for second in the Division
  • Erik Karlsson is just barely outside of the top 5 in the league for assists. Can he make the leader board?

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 23 Martin St. Louis
Valtteri Filppula
29
22
Assists Erik Karlsson 45 Martin St. Louis
Victor Hedman
32
32
Points Erik Karlsson 62 Martin St. Louis
Valtteri Filppula
61
51
Shots Erik Karlsson 216 Martin St. Louis
Alex Killorn
167
149
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:16 Victor Hedman 22:24

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.81 12th 2.86 8th
Goals Against 3.28 29th 2.55 12th
Corsi Close % 51.9% 9th 51.8% 10th
Fenwick Close % 50.7% 14th 51.9% 10th
Shots For 32.7 4th 29.7 18th
Shots Against 34.5 28th 29.3 13th

Paul MacLean had some things to say after the morning skate: