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Game 37 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Boston Bruins

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins on 29 December 2015.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to pass the Boston Bruins in the standings by completing a home-and-home sweep tonight. Ottawa won 3-1 on Sunday against Boston despite being outshot 39-22. The Senators have lost seven out of the last eight on the road (1-6-1) while the Bruins have lost three in a row overall.

Ottawa will go with the same lineup that won on Sunday and the Bruins will be without David Krejci who injured himself during the last game. Craig Anderson will start again. Here are the expected lines and pairings.

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:

  • Erik Karlsson didn't have his most dominant game, but does anyone else recall him keeping the puck in the offensive zone or in the neutral zone by batting a puck down in mid-air cleanly with his stick? It must have happened three or four times. And there was of course that ridiculous dangle.
  • Here are Karlsson's ranks in some categories among defencemen that he leads or is near the lead. Points (1st), assists (1st), goals (4th), primary points (1st), primary assists (1st), even strength points (1st), even strength goals (second), even strength assists (1st), power play points, power play assists (1st).
  • Craig Anderson has faced the most shots in the league, but he is 12th out of 30 in save percentage among the 30 goalies that have faced the most shots. At even strength he is 16th out of 30. There is nothing really too unsustainable about the Senators goaltending.
  • Another Karlsson tidbit because what else is there to get excited about with this team? He is the only player in the eastern conference in the top 10 in the NHL points race. Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan are tied with a few others for second in the east, but seven points behind Karlsson.
  • After eight goals in the first 12, Kyle Turris has just five in the last 24. He is still on pace for 64 points this season.
  • Zack Smith played over 20 minutes against Boston. Despite his continued presence on the top line, he has one goal and no assists in the last eight games.
  • The Bruins missing David Krejci should be a big blow to them. Ottawa just might be able to stay in the game because of this.
  • Ottawa is currently fifth in the division but could finish the night as high as second. It is really tight in the eastern conference after the Capitals.

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 31 David Krejci 22
Points Erik Karlsson 40 Patrice Bergeron 33
Shots Mike Hoffman 96 Patrice Bergeron 117
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 28:03 Zdeno Chara 24:22

Category Ottawa Boston
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.92 4th 3.03 3rd
Goals Against 2.81 22nd 2.66 19th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 46.9% 26th 50.0% 16th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.6% 28th 51.0% 11th
Shots For 27.5 28th 31.1 5th
Shots Against 34.0 30th 29.0 15th