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Game 40 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Colorado Avalanche

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche on 8 January 2015.

USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators continue a four-game road trip when they visit the Avalanche in Denver tonight. Ottawa is coming off a 2-1 shootoout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and faces an increasingly uphill climb to make the playoffs. The Florida Panthers are currently on pace to grab the final playoff spot with a 95-points pace. The Senators would need to play at a 105 points per 82 games pace over the final 43 games to get there. The Avalanche are in a similarly bleak situation, sitting seven points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the final playoff spot in the west.

Marc Methot will return to the lineup tonight in that place of a yet to be named player, but likely Chris Phillips, Jared Cowen or Patrick Wiercioch. Here are the forward lines for tonight from Sylvain St-Laurent.

MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Pageau - Chiasson
Greening - Legwand - Condra

Methot/Phillips - Karlsson
Cowen/Methot/Wiercioch - Ceci
Wiercioch/Phillips - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson has been a 52.4% Corsi player since Dave Cameron took over.
  • Thanks to a lot of luck and a lot of solid play, Patrick Wiercioch has only been on the ice for five goals against this season.
  • A lot will be made by some over Curtis Lazar's scratching tonight but he's probably not better than any of the 12 forwards playing tonight at this moment in his career. I am sure he will be back soon.
  • Alex Chiasson has quietly taken the second most minor penalties on the team, one behind Mark Borowiecki.
  • The NHL record for most goals in a season without any power play goals is 31. The record for most goals without any power play or shorthanded goals is 28. Mike Hoffman is currently at 13 and on pace for 29. Hoffman actually does not have any power play assists either.
  • Semon Varlamov stopped an incredible 54 shots in a 2-0 win over Chicago on Tuesday. His save percentage for the season jumped from 91.1% to 91.8% after that game.
  • After 63 points as a rookie and 10 points in seven playoff games, Nathan MacKinnon has 24 points in 40 games this year.
  • The Avalanche are finding it a tough slog this year without the puck luck that they enjoyed last year. Alex Tanguay leads the team with 25 points. They do have eight players with 20+ points though.
  • Five of David Legwand's six goals have been on the power play. Legwand has also received less power play time than Clarke MacArthur and is the fourth highest on the team among forwards.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com.

Category Ottawa Colorado
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 13 Alex Tanguay 12
Assists Erik Karlsson 20 Tyson Barrie 21
Points Kyle Turris 27 Alex Tanguay 25
Shots Erik Karlsson 145 Gabriel Landeskog 123
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:24 Erik Johnson 24:27

Category Ottawa Colorado
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.56 20th 2.45 24th
Goals Against 2.64 19th 2.88 23rd
Corsi % 48.56% 23rd 44.92% 28th
Fenwick % 46.53% 25th 44.98% 29th
Shots For 29.4 19th 28.7 24th
Shots Against 33.1 26th 33.9 28th