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Game 32 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals on 16 December 2015.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators get back in action with a game against the surging Capitals in Washington tonight. The Capitals have won 21 out of 29 games so far this year and have gone 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. The Senators rode Mike Hoffman to victory on Monday at home against the Kings but were outshot by at least 15 shots for the second consecutive game.

Andrew Hammond will return to action and start in the net but there will be no other changes. This means Shane Prince will be a healthy scratch again and Mark Borowiecki will be a forward again. Here is the lineup.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Cowen - Wideman

Hammond (starter)
Anderson

Some notes for tonight:

  • What will it take to get Mark Borowiecki to be scratched for Shane Prince? Just because it keeps happening doesn't mean it isn't worth complaining about every time.
  • Despite being on the ice for most of the Ottawa's goals and chances, the Zibanejad line played about five minutes less than the Pageau line. Which one is the second line in Dave Cameron's eyes?
  • Over the last nine games, Mike Hoffman has scored 9 of Ottawa's 24 goals. Hoffman has 13 goals in his last 14 games.
  • Hoffman's 13 goals in the last 30 days are eight more than any other Senators player. Kyle Turris is second with five.
  • Among players with at least 200 minutes of 5-on-5, Hoffman is first in the NHL with 1.52 goals per 60 minutes of 5-on-5. His 3.04 points/60 is second in the NHL. He is benefitting from a very high shooting percentage, but he is also shooting over 13% for his career, he just might have a very good shot. In terms of individual shot attempts/60, he is still 22nd in the NHL in that.
  • Mika Zibanejad has 5 points in 38:58 of 5-on-5 with Hoffman. Without Hoffman, Zibanejad has 4 points in 336:24 of 5-on-5.
  • Bobby Ryan has 1.81 points/60 minutes without Hoffman and 2.91 with Hoffman.
  • I guess what I am trying to say is that Mike Hoffman is an elite hockey player who is being used in really odds ways recently.
  • Andrew Hammond has started 27 regular season games in his career and the Senators have earned a point in 26 of them, including the last 11. The only exception was a 5-1 loss to the Rangers on 26 March.
  • The Capitals are in the top seven in the NHL in goals for per game, goals against per game, shots for per game, shots against per game, power play and the penalty kill. They really don't have any weakness. Offence, defence, goaltending, special teams, they have it all.
  • Alex Ovechkin is averaging over five shots per game with 143 in 28.

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 Washington
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 17 Alex Ovechkin 14
Assists Erik Karlsson 27 Evgeny Kuznetsov 19
Points Erik Karlsson 34 Evgeny Kuznetsov 28
Shots Mike Hoffman 86 Alex Ovechkin 143
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:30 John Carlson 24:33

Category Ottawa Washington
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 3.03 4th 3.00 5th
Goals Against 2.90 24th 2.17 1st
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.6% 24th 53.2% 3rd
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.5% 23rd 53.3% 4th
Shots For 27.9 27th 30.6 6th
Shots Against 34.0 30th 28.1 7th