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Game 26 preview: New York Islanders @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the New York Islanders on 5 December 2015.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to win at home against the New York Islanders before starting a stretch where they play 15 out of 21 on the road. The Senators had a thrilling 4-3 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday while the Islanders won last night in a shootout against the St. Louis Blues. The Islanders have won four in a row overall to solidify their playoff position.

Despite another horror show against the Blackhawks, Mark Borowiecki will keep his place in the lineup. Mika Zibanejad is expected to return and David Dziurzynski has been called up to replace Colin Greening. Patrick Wiercioch will be the healthy scratch.

Here are the lines and pairings for the 7:05 puck drop.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Driedger

Some notes for tonight:

  • Against Chicago, 5-on-5 shot attempts were 24-22 Chicago with Erik Karlsson on the ice. With Karlsson off the ice and Patrick Wiercioch on, they were 4-3 for Ottawa. In all other scenarios, they were 34-8 for Chicago. When Mark Borowiecki was on the ice without Karlsson, shot attempts were 18-4 for Chicago.
  • Mike Hoffman had his sixth multiple point game in the last 10. Along with Karlsson, the pair are easily the team's best players at the moment.
  • The Senators have given up three or more goals in five straight games. They have managed to win three of those five.
  • Karlsson being fourth in the NHL in points after 25 games is just nuts. He is on pace for the highest points total by a defenceman in two decades.
  • Kyle Turris is on pace to finish fifth in team scoring with 72 points. That would have been first last season.
  • Borowiecki does not have a shot on goal in almost three weeks.
  • Another incredible aspect of Hoffman's goal totals is that while he is fortunate to be shooting around 20% he must have hit around six or seven goal posts this season.
  • Aside from the top two lines and Erik Karlsson, there are not a lot of things to get excited about. Thankfully it appears they have enough high end talent to keep them afloat.
  • The Senators probably don't have the assets to acquire a good defenceman long term without giving up offensive talent but how would people feel about giving up a player like Curtis Lazar for a good rental?

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 New York
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 13 John Tavares 12
Assists Erik Karlsson 24 Kyle Okposo 15
Points Erik Karlsson 29 John Tavares 22
Shots Mike Hoffman 64 Frans Nielsen 74
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:08 Travis Hamonic 23:42

Category Ottawa New York
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 3.16 5th 2.74 10th
Goals Against 2.88 22nd 2.30 7th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.9% 22nd 50.7 11th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.8% 23rd 51.0% 10th
Shots For 28.5 23rd 29.5 16th
Shots Against 34.2 30th 28.9 12th