Having lost 4-1 on 10 December, the Ottawa Senators return to Tampa Bay again for another crack at the Lightning. The Senators beat the Sharks 4-2 on Friday while the Lightning blew a 3-0 lead in a 5-3 loss to Washington on the same night. The Lightning have probably been the biggest disappointment in the NHL so far, and look likely to go into the Christmas break outside a playoff spot.
The only change for the Senators will be that Andrew Hammond will make his second start in three games. Jared Cowen will be a healthy scratch again. Here are the lines and pairings.
Smith - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Dziurzynski - Pageau - Chiasson
Prince - Lazar - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Only 35 defencemen had more points all of last season than the 36 Erik Karlsson has so far this season.
- That Karlsson and Mike Hoffman 2-on-1 had to be the play of the season for the Senators so far right? Or maybe the Karlsson overtime goal against Chicago. This Karlsson guy is good.
- If the Senators can come out even in shots with their top two lines and pairings, they have enough high end talent to be pretty good. It can't be overstated how important the success of the Patrick Wiercioch and Cody Ceci pairing is.
- Shane Prince had a pretty good game on his return. A lot more effective than Mark Borowiecki anyway, although some of the readers of this article might be more effective than him.
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau is currently on pace for 22 goals.
- Excluding power play goals, Hoffman has 13 goals, Turris has 10 and then Pageau follows at nine.
- Ottawa can move within two points of the Canadiens for the division lead with a win. They could also move six points clear of Tampa Bay.
- Karlsson is the only player from the eastern conference in the top nine in the NHL in points.
- The Lightning were first in the NHL in goals last season, and now they are near the bottom.
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.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||17||Steven Stamkos||12|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||28||Victor Hedman||15|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||36||Steven Stamkos||23|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||93||Nikita Kucherov||84|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:39||Victor Hedman||22:32|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.5%||24th||52.6%||5th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||47.3%||26th||52.9%||5th|