The Ottawa Senators will look to avoid a third consecutive loss when they host the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. The Senators lost 4-2 in a pretty disappointing performance against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday while the Blackhawks lost 2-1 at home against the Minnesota Wild.
With injuries to Mika Zibanejad and Milan Michalek, the Senators will not call-up any other forwards. Colin Greening will play his first NHL game of the season and the Senators will go with seven defencemen, meaning Patrick Wiercioch returns to the lineup.
Here are the lines and pairings from Sylvain St-Laurent.
Hoffman - Turris - Ryan
Prince - Pageau - Stone
Lazar - Smith - Chiasson
Greening - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Wiercioch - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Craig Anderson is making his ninth consecutive start tonight. Since back-to-back shutouts, he has allowed three or more goals in four straight games.
- Erik Karlsson had his points streak end but he continues to make a case for the Hart Trophy. Criticisms of his play have been nothing short of drivel. This team is likely battling for the first overall pick without him.
- Karlsson is a Hart Trophy candidate but the opposition features the current favourite to win the award. Patrick Kane has points in 20-straight games and leads the NHL with 38 points. That is an incredible 15 points more his next closest teammate after just 25 games.
- Former Senators legend, and Stanley Cup champion, David Rundblad has been a healthy scratch since 29 October. This makes me sad. :-(
- Mike Hoffman scored another beautiful goal to extend his points streak to five games. His rate of scoring on 19% of his shots is unlikely to continue but he is currently on pace for 43 goals, 43 assists for 86 points in 78 games this season.
- Zibanejad's injury means Mark Stone moves to the first power play unit which will also feature Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan.
- I for one am very excited to see the club's second best defenceman, Patrick Wiercioch, return to the lineup.
- Will we see a hilarious Brent Seabrook for Norris segment on TSN again?
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||11||Patrick Kane||15|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||21||Patrick Kane||23|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||26||Patrick Kane||38|
|Shots||Bobby Ryan||60||Patrick Kane||91|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:08||Duncan Keith||25:24|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||48.2%||22nd||51.3%||8th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||48.0%||24th||49.2%||18th|