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Game 30 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Canadiens de Montréal

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Montréal Canadiens on 12 December 2015.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will finish off a four-game road trip with tonight's game in Montréal. The Senators have lost two out of three so far but it should be a fun game with the growing rivalry between the two clubs. The Habs are struggling themselves with four consecutive regulation losses and are now only three points ahead of the Red Wings for first place in the division.

There will be no changes meaning Craig Anderson will start again, Mark Borowiecki will be a forward again, Shane Prince will be a healthy scratch again. Here are the lines and pairings.

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:

  • Every game that Mark Borowiecki plays as a forward is insanity. It is a bit less insane than playing him as a defenceman and scratching Patrick Wiercioch but it still boggles the mind. I will repeatedly complain about this.
  • Erik Karlsson has gone without a point for three consecutive games for the first time this season.
  • Does anyone have any explanation for why Mike Hoffman was removed from the first power play unit that was working so well? The only thing we have heard is that he was being too risky in that third period in Florida. That is a bit like demoting Marc Methot on the penalty kill because he is not creative enough.
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau is going to score tonight yes?
  • Max Pacioretty is going to get a breakaway yes?
  • Pacioretty is fifth in the NHL with 119 shots. The next highest player on the Canadiens is P.K. Subban with 75. Hoffman leads Ottawa with 78.
  • The Senators have not lost a game that they led at any point since the 7-5 loss to Nashville on 10 November.
  • Tonight will be Karlsson's 197th consecutive regular season game since he returned from the Achilles injury.
  • The Senators' next three games are against division leaders in Montréal, Los Angeles and Washington.
  • Mika Zibanejad has no goals and one assist in his last six games.
  • Chris Wideman had a career high seven shots on goal on Thursday. It is early days, but if he keeps this up, he might be challenging Patrick Wiercioch for being the second best defenceman on the team. Low bar though.
  • The Habs are in the top six in every category in the table at the bottom of the page. But they are starting Dustin Tokarski tonight.

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 Montréal
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 15 Max Pacioretty 13
Assists Erik Karlsson 26 P.K. Subban 20
Points Erik Karlsson 32 Tomas Plekanec 26
Shots Mike Hoffman 78 Max Pacioretty 119
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:30 P.K. Subban 25:12

Category Ottawa Montréal
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 3.03 4th 3.20 3rd
Goals Against 2.90 23rd 2.27 5th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.6% 24th 54.7% 2nd
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.5% 23rd 55.1% 2nd
Shots For 28.2 25th 31.1 4th
Shots Against 33.6 30th 28.2 6th