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Game 53 Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the Pens-Sens game on February 12th.

Condra's best chance to score a goal: 1-on-3, with the goalie still in the net
Condra's best chance to score a goal: 1-on-3, with the goalie still in the net
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Who knows what to expect from the Senators tonight? And who knows what to cheer for? The fanbase seems to be split in three equal parts: Team Tank, Team Anti-Tank, and Team Indifferent. Robin Lehner will get his seventh consecutive start.

Here are the best guesses at lines and pairings from Gord Wilson:

Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Turris - Stone
Condra - Legwand - Neil
MacArthur - Lazar - Chiasson

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba

Lehner (starter)
Hammond

Here are the Penguins' lines from last night, presumably the same tonight other than the goalie:

Kunitz - Crosby - Perron
Comeau - Malkin - Hornqvist
Spaling - Sutter - Bennett
Adams - Lapierre - Downie

Martin - Letang
Scuderi - Despres
Pouliot - Bortuzzo

Greiss (starter)
Fleury

Some notes for tonight:

  • Cameron hasn't actually confirmed Pageau as the scratch, he's just said that Ryan is healthy enough to play.
  • Craig Anderson practised a bunch today, just without his stick. This injury is turning out to be pretty serious.
  • I hope Cody Ceci learned a lot from that one game scratching. He's back in the lineup tonight, and Patty W again gets to sit.
  • I hope Wiercioch gets traded for his benefit, because I don't think he'll ever get a fair shake in Ottawa. Having a decent defenceman that you don't trade would be terrible asset management. Undervaluing him then trading him would only be poor asset management.
  • Every once in a while Doni B and I agree - he also was wondering why Hoff-Zbad-Ryan ever got split up.
  • Is MacArthur actually on the fourth line? Remember when 16-93-6 was the top line? I have a hard time seeing that lasting for a guy who is exactly the kind of player that coaches love.
  • The Penguins are starting Thomas Greiss tonight. How many times this year has Ottawa played a backup goalie (or worse)? Think how much worse Ottawa could be if they normally played starters.
  • The Sens currently sit 12 points out of the last playoff spot with two games in hand.
  • The Sens currently sit 16 points out of last place in the league with three games in hand.
  • Is anyone really going to watch this game tonight, or is everyone gonna try to see if Tyler Myers has already turned it around in Winnipeg?
  • Amazingly, after playing Ottawa on Tuesday, Buffalo doesn't play again until Sunday. Guess that explain the games in hand mentioned above. But really, is anyone excited to see how Bogosian pans out in Buffalo's tank attempt?

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com.

Category Ottawa Pittsburgh
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 17 Evgeni Malkin
20
Assists Bobby Ryan / Erik Karlsson
23 Sidney Crosby
39
Points Bobby Ryan 37 Sidney Crosby
56
Shots Erik Karlsson 195 Sidney Crosby
152
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:04 Kris Letang
25:12

Category Ottawa Pittsburgh
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.65 20th 2.83
11th
Goals Against 2.71 20th
2.43
7th
Corsi % 49.85% 19th 52.58% 6th
Fenwick % 47.76% 24th 52.63% 9th
Shots For 29.8 14th 31.1
9th
Shots Against 32.6 26th 29.5
17th