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Game 31 preview: Los Angeles Kings @ Ottawa Senators

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Preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Los Angeles Kings on December 14, 2015.

Lazar and Chiasson look for a tip during the LA Kings last trip to Ottawa
Lazar and Chiasson look for a tip during the LA Kings last trip to Ottawa
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators return home after a 4-game road trip to face the Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Kings. The Senators won their last matchup against the Kings back on February 26, 2015 when The Hamburglar recorded his second shutout in back-to-back nights en route to sweeping a California road trip. The Sens are looking to end their two-game losing streak tonight. Meanwhile, the Kings have won six of their last seven and have a 10-point lead over the second-place Arizona Coyotes.

Andrew Hammond will be returning to the lineup in a backup role behind Craig AndersonShane Prince will continue to be a healthy scratch. Here are the lines and pairings from this morning's skate:

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

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Cowen - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson stretches his pointless streak to four games, his longest regular season streak since February 2012.
  • Even with the scoring drought, Karlsson continues to lead all defencemen with 32 points, two more than second-place John Klingberg.
  • The Sens gave up a team-record 27 shots on goal in the first period against Montreal on Saturday night, surely it can't get worse than that?
  • The Kings take the most shots in the league, while the Sens give up the most... so this could be interesting.
  • Dave Cameron continues to put his line-up in the blender, which looks like we will see the promotion of Zack Smith to the top line alongside Turris and Stone. This is nothing against Smith who has been one of their better players in the past few games, but it seems bizarre to promote a traditional checking-role player to the top line.
  • After a long road trip, the Sens have won four of their last five at the Canadian Tire Centre. Hopefully the road trip didn't stop their home momentum as they will need all hands on deck to beat the high-flying Kings.
  • Mark Stone continues to lead the league in takeaways with 40, nine more than second-place Jeff Skinner.
  • Zack Smith is shooting at an incredible 30.4%, 4th in the league among those who have played 15 or more games.
  • Craig Anderson has seen the most shots of any goaltender this year, 59 more than second-place Henrik Lundqvist.
  • It's too bad that Clarke MacArthur won't be in the lineup on his bobblehead night, but GM Bryan Murray remains optimistic that he will be back in the second half of the year.
  • Bobby Ryan has 11 goals and 10 assists through 34 career games against the Kings

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 Los Angeles
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 15 Jeff Carter & Tyler Toffoli 11
Assists Erik Karlsson 26 Jeff Carter 15
Points Erik Karlsson 32 Jeff Carter 26
Shots Mike Hoffman 83 Jeff Carter 90
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:35 Drew Doughty 27:46

Category Ottawa Los Angeles
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.97 4th 2.52 18th
Goals Against 2.90 24th 2.07 1st
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.6% 24th 57.7% 1st
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.5% 23rd 57.3% 1st
Shots For 28.2 26th 32.6 1st
Shots Against 33.9 30th 27.9 5th