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Game 67 preview: Ottawa Senators @ New York Islanders

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders on 13 March 2015.

USA TODAY Sports

After an impressive 5-2 win last night against the Canadiens, the Senators are right back in action tonight when they visit the New York Islanders. The Senators have gone 11-2-2 in their last 15 games but unfortunately for them, the Boston Bruins have gone 6-0-1 in their last seven. Thus, Ottawa has not really closed the gap over the last two weeks.

Andrew Hammond has become the first goaltender in 77 years to allow two goals or less in his first nine NHL starts. It is not yet known whether Hammond or Craig Anderson will start. Hammond has previously started games on back-to-back nights twice before, shutting out the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings in both games the first time and then allowing allowing one goal to the Winnipeg Jets after allowing two in Minnesota.

(Update: Hammond confirmed as starter)

We won't know the lineup until later on, but here is the team that played last night.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Cowen - Borowiecki

Hammond (starter)
Anderson

Some notes for tonight:

  • Boston has two tough road games in a back-to-back situations against Pittsburgh and Washington this weekend. If they don't start dropping points here, Ottawa might run out of games. On the other hand, Washington isn't that much harder to catch than Boston right now.
  • Ottawa lost both meetings to the Islanders this season in December in Paul MacLean's third and fourth last games.
  • Erik Karlsson now leads NHL defencemen in goals and points with 18 and 53. How many points would he have were it not for the ball and chain that was Chris Phillips?
  • Karlsson had three points in 323 minutes of 5-on-5 play with Chris Phillips or a point every 108 minutes. In 1,003 minutes without Phillips, he has 25 points during 5-on-5 or a point every 40 minutes.
  • The Senators are likely going to have six guys with 20+ goals this season.
  • Don't look now but Milan Michalek is absolutely on fire these days. The Senators can definitely trade him in the offseason if they so choose. He has 22 points in his last 25 games.
  • The Islanders are third in the NHL in shots per game and second in goals per game. Adding the back-to-back situation, going to be a huge challenge for whichever goalie plays tonight.
  • The last playoff spot in the east is currently on pace for 98 points. That's tough.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net. I am going to start using score-adjusted Corsi/Fenwick instead of raw numbers, as that is what the nerds prefer these days.

Category Ottawa New York
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 24 John Tavares 33
Assists Erik Karlsson 35 John Tavares 39
Points Erik Karlsson 53 John Tavares 72
Shots Erik Karlsson 239 John Tavares 229
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:00 Travis Hamonic 21:51

Category Ottawa New York
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.82 10th 3.07 3rd
Goals Against 2.61 15th 2.77 24th
Score adjusted Corsi % 50.6% 18th 53.9% 5th
Score adjusted Fenwick % 48.9% 21st 55.1% 1st
Shots For 30.8 10th 33.7 2nd
Shots Against 32.4 25th 27.9 6th