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Game 66 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Canadiens de Montréal

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Montréal Canadiens on 12 March 2015.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators return to action following a disappointing 3-1 loss at home to the Boston Bruins. Ottawa played very well, outshooting the Bruins by almost a 2:1 ratio and hitting three goalposts but ending up losing anyway. Tonight they play the kings of not playing very well but winning anyway: les Canadiens.

The Senators will make two changes with Jared Cowen returning to the lineup in the place of Eric Gryba while Andrew Hammond will start in net.

Here are the lines and pairings from Sylvain St-Laurent.

Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Turris - Stone
Lazar - Pageau - Condra
Puempel - Legwand - Chiasson

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Cowen - Borowiecki

Hammond (starter)
Anderson

Meanwhile the Habs will likely counter with 20 douchebags.

Here are some notes for tonight:

  • With Jared Cowen returning to the lineup, it is nice to see that Patrick Wiercioch appears to have played himself out of the scratch rotation. Cowen, Mark Borowiecki and Eric Gryba are all interchangeable and easily the worst defencemen on the team at the moment.
  • The talk about goaltending regarding this team over the past 48 hours has ranged from absurd to even more absurd. I am not going to even comment any further on that.
  • How different could things have been with a little bit of luck against Boston? Ottawa could have had the chance to close the gap to one point with a win and a Boston loss against a tough Lightning team.
  • Ottawa and Boston will play again a week from tonight. The Senators play the Canadiens, Islanders, Flyers and Hurricanes before then while the Bruins play the Lightning, Penguins, Capitals and Sabres.
  • The Habs have had 20 shots or less in three of their five games in March.
  • This will be the last meeting between the two clubs this season. The Senators have won two of the previous three, including Andrew Hammond's first career NHL start.
  • Aside from their impressive point totals, Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone have combined to take only 10 minor penalties all season.
  • Including playoffs, Jean-Gabriel Pageau has 11 goals with five of them against the Canadiens.
  • When Erik Karlsson and Patrick Wiercioch end up together on the ice, Ottawa gets almost 60% of the shot attempts during 5-on-5 play.
  • Karlsson's 234 shots on goal in 65 games is 29 more than P.K. Subban has ever had in any full season in his career.

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 Montréal
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 24 Max Pacioretty 31
Assists Bobby Ryan 34 P.K. Subban 37
Points Erik Karlsson 50 Max Pacioretty 57
Shots Erik Karlsson 234 Max Pacioretty 259
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:03 P.K. Subban 26:08

Category Ottawa Montréal
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.78 14th 2.55 22nd
Goals Against 2.62 15th 2.15 1st
Corsi % 50.23% 19th 48.64% 23rd
Fenwick % 48.34% 23rd 48.93% 21st
Shots For 30.8 11th 28.3 26th
Shots Against 32.5 26th 30.4 22nd