The Ottawa Senators get back into action after the Christmas break with a home-and-home with the Boston Bruins. The Senators put in a putrid effort in Tuesday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Panthers while the Bruins blew a 3-1 lead at home to the Sabres last night, losing 6-3.
Ottawa will be without Curtis Lazar and Cody Ceci, with Max McCormick and Jared Cowen replacing them. Craig Anderson will start in net for Ottawa and Tuukka Rask expected to start for Boston. Here are the lines and pairings from Gord Wilson.
Smith - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Dziurzynski - Pageau - Chiasson
Prince - McCormick - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Borowiecki
Cowen - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Someone that really needed the Christmas break was Erik Karlsson, after playing over 69 minutes in the last two games. The captain is on a five-game points streak with three goals and three assists in the five games.
- With Smith on the top line and the quality of players in the bottom six, as well as one of Jared Cowen or Mark Borowiecki being on the ice for half the game, this doesn't give a lot of hope for tonight. But the Bruins did play last night. The Senators top end talent will need to carry the day as usual.
- The bad news is that the Senators are only a point ahead of the final playoff spot. The good news is that if Ottawa did manage to start playing better, the points are in the bank and a victory would move them to within one point of the division lead.
- Karlsson is down to sixth in the league in points but can move back to the top four with a point tonight. He remains tied with Patrick Kane for the assists lead.
- The Senators have been outshot by 6.2 shots per game on average this year. That is by far the worst with the San Jose Sharks second worst at 3.8 shots per game.
- Ottawa is not only 30th in the league in shots allowed per game but also third last in shots for per game. Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone and Craig Anderson are keeping this team afloat.
- Three of the Senators next seven games are against the Bruins.
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||Brad Marchand||15|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||29||David Krejci||22|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||38||Patrice Bergeron||33|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||95||Patrice Bergeron||113|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||28:03||Zdeno Chara||24:21|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||46.9%||25th||49.9%||15th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||46.7%||26th||50.7%||12th|