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Game 36 preview: Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins on 27 December 2015.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

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.

Category Ottawa Boston
Player # Player #
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

Category Ottawa Boston
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.91 4th 3.09 3rd
Goals Against 2.86 24th 2.65 19th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 46.9% 25th 49.9% 15th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.7% 26th 50.7% 12th
Shots For 27.7 28th 30.9 6th
Shots Against 33.9 30th 29.2 16th