The Ottawa Senators will play their last game before the all-star break when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. The 11th place Senators are two points back of the 10th place Leafs though neither team is anywhere near a playoff spot. The Leafs have lost five consecutive games in regulation getting outscored by an incredible 16-2 margin.
Craig Anderson will start again while Dave Cameron will make some unspecified changes to the lineup. My guess is that Patrick Wiercioch will replace Chris Phillips and Curtis Lazar will replace Chris Neil.
Here are the lines and pairings from Gord Wilson.
MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Pageau - Chiasson
Condra - Legwand - Lazar
Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Wiercioch - Gryba
Some notes for tonight:
- Erik Karlsson's recent games have been reminiscent of the pre-injury days when he was a contender for the best hockey player in the world.
- Milan Michalek has also improved recently and it has shown in the points totals with five in the last five games.
- Eric Gryba had yet another poor game. He's been on the downturn for a bit.
- Chris Neil was basically benched for the entire third period and was a non-factor in his return from injury.
- How many really poor games has Ottawa had since the coaching change? The only one I can think of is that win over New Jersey where everyone was exhausted for some reason.
- With a loss and a Lumbus win, Ottawa can move into a tie for sixth last.
- Alex Chiasson doesn't have a goal since 15 December which was also the last time that he had an even strength point.
- Mika Zibanejad has 16 points in his last 22 games since the start of December.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||15||Phil Kessel||19|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||22||Phil Kessel||24|
|Points||Bobby Ryan||31||Phil Kessel||43|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||170||Phil Kessel||153|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:09||Dion Phaneuf||23:15|