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Game 35 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Florida Panthers

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers on 22 December 2015.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to avoid a fifth loss in seven games when they visit the Florida Panthers in their final game before the Christmas break. The Senators lost 5-2 in Tampa Bay, but they kept it close before two empty net goals, despite playing large chunks of the game with only four defencemen.

With Bobby Ryan out injured, the Senators called up Ryan Dzingel to replace him while Cody Ceci's injury means Jared Cowen returns to the lineup. Here are the lines and pairings from Marc Brassard.

Smith - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Chiasson
Dziurzynski - Pageau - Lazar
Prince - Dzingel - Neil

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Cowen
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Those are some ugly looking lines aren't they? The presence of Zack Smith, Alex Chiasson, David Dziurzynski and Chris Neil makes sure of an anchor on every line, but also means that there is some talent on every line. I would have probably loaded up on the big three and hope they can have a huge night, but you can understand the reasoning behind this.
  • In his last 65 regular season games, Erik Karlsson has 68 points, which just further illustrates the great chemistry between Ottawa's two best players.
  • Patrick Wiercioch played a career high 29:14 against Tampa Bay.
  • The 36:34 played by Erik Karlsson was the highest by a player in a non-overtime regular season since 2008. It was the most ever by a Senators player, with the previous highest being 34:04 by Wade Redden in 2003. Of the 12 highest single-game ice times by a Senators player, Karlsson has nine of them.
  • Andrej Meszaros played 37:47 in a regular season overtime in 2006 which is the highest ever by a Senator in the regular season.
  • Since a four game points streak, Kyle Turris has only two goals and two assists in his last nine games.
  • Karlsson has a goal and five shots in each of the last two games. He is still on track for his lowest shots per game output since 2010-2011. That is about the only thing that is lower than a career norm for him.
  • Karlsson leads the eastern conference in points while Hoffman and Ryan are tied for second.
  • While the Canadiens are falling, the Bruins, Red Wings and Panthers are all surging with 15, 14 and 14 points respectively in the last 10. The Senators currently hold the final wild card spot, two points ahead of Tampa Bay, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

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 Florida
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 17 Reilly Smith 11
Assists Erik Karlsson 28 Jonathan Huberdeau 17
Points Erik Karlsson 37 Jaromir Jagr 24
Shots Mike Hoffman 94 Aaron Ekblad 88
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:54 Brian Campbell 21:18

Category Ottawa Florida
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.97 4th 2.62 14th
Goals Against 2.91 24th 2.32 5th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.1% 25th 50.2% 15th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.9% 26th 50.7% 15th
Shots For 28.0 26th 28.0 26th
Shots Against 33.7 30th 29.5 16th