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Game 70 preview: Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins on 19 March 2015.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators play easily their most important game in the post-Daniel Alfredsson era when they host the Boston Bruins tonight. The Senators have gone 12-1-1 in their last 14 games to close the gap to the Bruins to four points for the final playoff spot. A regulation win tonight would leave Ottawa just two points back and with a game in hand.

The Senators will make just one change with the meh Jared Cowen replaced by the just as meh Eric Gryba. Andrew Hammond will start in net. Here are the lines and pairings from Gord Wilson.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Cowen - Borowiecki

Hammond (starter)
Driedger

This game is rather...big.

Some notes for tonight:

  • Ottawa should really try and win this one. Sixty minutes, try hard, get the puck in deep, keep the shots to the outside, no second chances, drive to the net, keep it simple, play for the man next to you.
  • The Senators second best defenceman, Patrick Wiercioch, has four points in five games now.
  • Erik's and Patty's sidekicks are also doing a good job of holding up their end and giving the club two good pairings.
  • Erik Karlsson is seven points away from 300 for his career. Very good chance that he gets there by the end of the season.
  • Nine more points will bring Karlsson to 65 points for the season and would be the third time has had 65 or more since 2011-2012. No other defenceman has done it even once in that span.
  • Is tonight the night Curtis Lazar gets an assist for the first time since 13 November?
  • Is the Jared Cowen dream over? Are there still people left that hold out hope for him? I guess no one held any hope for the Senators a few weeks ago either. Miracles do happen once in a while.
  • How good was Kyle Turris (and Erik for that matter) on that overtime winner on Tuesday?
  • The Senators have won their last three games by a 2-1 score.

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

Category Ottawa Boston
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 24 Brad Marchand 22
Assists Erik Karlsson 38 Dougie Hamilton 30
Points Erik Karlsson 56 Patrice Bergeron 48
Shots Erik Karlsson 248 Patrice Bergeron 200
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:03 Zdeno Chara 22:59

Category Ottawa Boston
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.77 12th 2.60 19th
Goals Against 2.54 13th 2.41 7th
Score adjusted Corsi % 50.6% 18th 52.8% 8th
Score adjusted Fenwick % 48.9% 21st 51.6% 13th
Shots For 30.7 12th 30.9 10th
Shots Against 32.4 25th 30.0 21st