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Game 29 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Tampa Bay Lightning

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning on 10 December 2015.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to pull eight points clear of the Tampa Bay Lightning with a victory on the road tonight. The Senators have had no problems scoring this season but have not been able to keep the opposition out either. This contrasts with the Lightning who have struggled to score this year but have not allowed too many goals themselves. Despite the gap in the standings, this will be a tough test for Ottawa against a team expected to win the division at the start of the year.

Shane Prince will be the healthy scratch with Mark Borowiecki expected to play at forward again. Craig Anderson will start yet again.

Hoffman - Turris - Ryan
Smith - Zibanejad - Stone
Dziurzynski - Pageau - Chiasson
Borowiecki - Lazar - Neil

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Cowen - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Driedger

Some notes for tonight:

  • Based on this modelled data of the expected goals for and against for each defenceman, only Erik Karlsson and Chris Wideman are over 50% among Senators defencemen. Patrick Wiercioch is close to breaking even and everyone else is 45% or lower with Cody Ceci at the bottom. Here is a detailed explanation for calculating expected goals.
  • Mike Hoffman is fourth in the NHL in goals. If he keeps up this unlikely pace, he would finish the year with 49 goals in 78 games.
  • Erik Karlsson does not have a point in consecutive for only the second time this season. He continues to lead the NHL in assists.
  • For all the talk of Mike Hoffman being demoted to the third line against Florida, he was also removed from the first power play unit in favour of Zack Smith. While the power play did score twice, hopefully Hoffman returns to the top unit tonight.
  • Depending on results, the Senators could have a chance to close the gap on the Canadiens to two points and hold a game in hand after Saturday's game in Montréal. The Senators top end talent is really carrying this team along, a lot more than most teams.
  • Only Hoffman and Kyle Turris have more goals on the team than Jean-Gabriel Pageau if power play goals are excluded.
  • The Senators have scored on 22.1% of power play opportunities, which is the fourth highest in the NHL.
  • Craig Anderson leads the NHL with 632 even strength shots faced, 35 more than the next highest goaltender. His 92.6 even strength save percentage is 12th out of 30 goalies with at least 15 or more games played.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net. Note that Corsi is now adjusted for score as well as the venue and event type.

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 15 Steven Stamkos 11
Assists Erik Karlsson 26 Victor Hedman 12
Points Erik Karlsson 32 Steven Stamkos 20
Shots Mike Hoffman 75 Steven Stamkos 70
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:31 Victor Hedman 22:07

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 3.11 4th 2.32 26th
Goals Against 2.86 23rd 2.25 5th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.6% 24th 52.1% 6th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.5% 23rd 52.5% 7th
Shots For 28.1 25th 27.9 27th
Shots Against 33.8 30th 28.8 10th